"I went to art school and now I’m a healthcare executive", Sarah Iselin, EVP of Government Programs and Diversified Business at GuideWell and Florida Blue, laughs as we catch up with her from her home in Newton, Massachusetts, in our latest videocast. As well as being a full-time mother to 3 teenage children, Sarah has contributed immensely to the healthcare landscape of the United States in the past 25 years.
A BFA holder from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah sought to find her way in the world first through Art History, Print-Making and Photography. However, moving to Boston following her education, a chance meeting with a family friend led to her first healthcare role as part of an internship. It was her volunteer experience with the Boston Visiting Nurse Associates that led to her passion for healthcare and healthcare policy. Sarah felt healthcare had a problem to fix: She saw healthcare as incredibly complicated, expensive and quite often did not serve people well and most often failed people in their most fragile and vulnerable moments in life.
Pursuing her newfound passion and graduating with a Master of Science degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health, Sarah relocated to Massachusetts. Heeding the advice of her parents of “Don’t come to DC; drive change at a state level”, Sarah sought to do just that.
During our chat, we learned more about Sarah’s role on the ground within the healthcare community of Massachusetts in 2010 which ultimately influenced the national policy debate resulting in the Affordable Care Act. This act was pivotal in acquiring adequate access to healthcare and insurance nationwide in the United States for millions.
We also get Sarah’s opinion on where digital healthcare performs poorly and what barriers it still faces, the influence of COVID-19 on digital healthcare and advice for healthcare entrepreneurs and startups.
Health plans play a major role in US healthcare. Payer coverage is dominated by 6 large health plans, however, new entrants are changing the landscape. We have explored the payer adoption of digital health in our latest industry report. The full report is accessible for free to all members of HealthXL. If you are not a member yet, you can download a free preview copy here.