December 5, 2019

New Age Health Plans and Social Innovation with Guidewell Innovation

Julie Carty
Martin Kelly

The GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona has to be one of the most state-of-the-art corporate spaces out there. HealthXL came together with GuideWell to host our Global Gathering in this space on the 20th of Nov. With senior leadership from multiple healthcare organisations, it was the perfect coming together of great minds and great topics. The day focused on three key areas - chronic disease management with a little help from technology, next-gen health payers, and innovating to address the social determinants of health. 

For those who couldn't make the gathering and attendees looking to revisit the discussions, we have put together a short roundup.

Two-fold telemedicine: Ashby Walker, Director for Health Equity Initiative, University of Florida spoke about a very simple, but effective program from the University of Florida and Stanford, ECHO Health, to educate and spread awareness among Primary Care Physicians on the identification and optimal management of diabetics, highlighting the benefit of peer mentors in disseminating optimal treatment guidelines, and outlined the success  from their e-education initiatives thus far. So, think about it as telemedicine with a twist - where expert health teams educate and therefore manage population health through GP mediators. 

Consumer trusted brand moving to generate robust clinical evidence. Emma Sugarman, Director of Strategy for Headspace discussed the companies “prescription-strength” intervention for chronic stress and how Headspace is pioneering new ways to incorporate mindfulness into digital medicine. Mental health comorbidities with chronic disease are not new to medicine, and Digital Therapeutics like Headspace can really help patients and clinicians address and manage these comorbidities effectively. 

Next-gen Payers & Value Based Care 

The payer landscape is evolving, big tech are becoming insurers, consolidation through M&A is creating new insurance companies, a bunch of new ‘digital’ insurance companies are springing up. This session explored some of these new models and what it could mean for the industry and consumers.

Matchmaker for patients and Digital Treatments: Brenda Schmidt, Founder and CEO of Solera Health elaborated how her company is leveraging value based payment models to drive outcomes by matching people to evidence-based digital solutions and to in-person community healthcare providers that meet each individual’s goals, needs, and preferences. The success is measured by achievement of health outcomes. Brenda highlighted how insurers need to elevate their game to truly be 'next gen'. 

Transparency and Personalization: HealthXL Board Member and Advisor, Robert Garber, Partner at 7wire Ventures, provided an investor’s perspective on what a next gen payer should look like through the examples of companies he has invested in. He emphasized on the value of consumer focused models, where a consumer is able to make a fully informed decision of what he/she wants in his/her health plan, where he/ she can clearly see what they are paying for. 

 “People want to feel cared about…..the system is not doing this currently”

Value-based care, A Guidewell Perspective: A group of healthcare leaders from GuideWell and their local ecosystem joined forces for a thought-provoking conversation on Value Based Care and how GuideWell are approaching this chapter. The group agreed that the low hanging fruit for using technology among payer and provider organisations is to automate manual or time consuming tasks like referral processes and admin/ backend to support. Technology is also already proving to be a great enabler to assist and guide consumers to navigate the payer system and their health plans.  “Patients are thrown to the marketplace without any trusted information”

Steven Blumberg, Vice President - Practice Transformation, GuideWell Health provided some very apt final thoughts to wrap up the session: “We have a chance to perfect market based solutions. Let’s embrace the tech gaps and empower patients and their relationship with providers.”

From L- R: Tim Cronin, VP Business Operations GuideWell Health;  Juan Estrada, CEO, GuideWell Sanitas; Steven Blumberg, VP of Practice Transformation GuideWell Health and John Mcreedy, Chief Strategy Officer, Medical Life Holdings.

Social Innovation For Health 

As the shift to value-based care takes shape, health systems, payers have to address the factors impacting health outcomes. Technology is foundational to this work (in the collection of social determinants data, exchange of this data, analytics for risk stratification, for eg). Other initiatives like more accessible primary care centers, and affordability are also key. In this session, we shone a light on some of the recent solutions and initiatives that are addressing the same and what help they need from the rest of the ecosystem.

The Retail Health opportunity is to Bring Healthcare to Where People Are: After lunch at the Guidewell Innovation Center, the very entertaining, knowledgeable and cracker of a Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Health Economist/Advisor at THINK Health & Health Populi blog walked the group through her journey as a little girl growing up in Detroit, the books she read at school and how these have honed her passion in this area. She emphasized on the need for empathy and humanity within healthcare businesses so their initiatives and solutions mirror the same - unlike in other industries, we cannot ‘Uber of Lyft our way out’ of the social factors that impact the wellness of an individual. She is also a strong proponent for baking health as a key impactor into all policy - from energy to housing to agriculture.  

Charles Nader talked about how his company,, provide free basic healthcare to the populations that need it most and their unique revenue model of sharing patient consented data with Pharma through blockchain. He also outlined the outcomes they've seen as a result of this initiative, both clinical and economic, and how they are closing the loop by transparently using patient-shared data to help fund free video consultations. Charles discussed how the concept was born and how we can collectively do better to reimagine healthcare. is active in Latin America and Mexico already, thus giving us a great example of scale and opportunity to address social determinants of health in a rather unique way. 

“I’m a huge fan of first principles thinking- let's find new ways to do things versus building on what's out there”

An impromptu guest joined the panel discussion that ensued - Jody Holtzman, Senior Managing Partner at Longevity Venture Advisors provided the audience with nuggets of wisdom on the specific needs of the over 50 population.

“There is so much focus on supply and technology but no one has a clue what a day to day is like in the life of an older person. Whoever cracks the voice market for seniors will make a lot of money” 

It was an inspiring day of sharing. As Phil Lee, Chief of Staff, Office of the CEO at GuideWell recognized, get-together like these enable us to see the impact that we can make. While we have only just begun as a collective industry, it is promising to see that we are building on developing the dialogue to improving consumer and member lives. 

Event report

If you are interested in attending or be a speaker in our future events, reach out to us, and we can talk! See you at our next event in Barcelona Feb 2020, for more information see HERE.

We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

Request an Introduction

We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

Request an Introduction

We can provide an introduction on your behalf so that you can contact them directly with any questions/queries on this topic. Simply click on the link below to request an introduction.

Request an Introduction

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