41 health tech CEOs join forces to bring innovation to Medicaid

Disadvantaged populations covered by program are often overlooked by new technology, says Leah Sparks.

More than 40 health technology CEOs from around the country have joined forces to bring technological innovation to the Medicaid program, which provides healthcare to one in five Americans.

While more than 75 million low-income Americans are covered under Medicaid, the new national nonprofit organization—HealthTech4Medicaid (HT4M)—wants to improve quality and access to care for those enrolled in the program by rapidly changing the pace of innovation.

“Medicaid recipients and traditionally disadvantaged populations are often overlooked by new technology,” says Leah Sparks, co-chair of HT4M and CEO of Wildflower Health. “Our goal is to use technology innovation to reimagine how these patients are served.”

Through the creation and use of technology, the group—which represents more than $1 billion in venture capital backing—is hoping to increase patient access, reduce healthcare costs and drive better health outcomes in Medicaid, as well as promote legislation and policies that enable greater innovation in the program.

To reach these goals, HT4M is looking to build partnerships with venture-backed entrepreneurs, payers and healthcare providers.

In August, 17 health systems nationwide announced that they were collaborating to develop and scale digital solutions to improve care for Medicaid recipients. Specifically, the Medicaid Transformation Project is focused on critical challenges confronting vulnerable populations including behavioral health, women and infant care, substance use disorder and avoidable emergency department visits.

Also See: 17 health systems look to digital tech to aid care for underserved

Among the 40 CEOs that have joined HT4M are Pedram Afshar from Sage Health; Sean Duffy from Omada Health; Russ Johannesson from Glooko; Iyah Romm from Cityblock Health; Brenda Schmidt from Solera Health; and Glen Tullman from Livongo.

In addition, HT4M has formed an advisory council that includes Greg Buchert, MD, from Blue Shield of California’s Care1st Health Plan; Patrick Conway, MD, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina; Mark McClellan, MD, from the Robert J. Margolis Center at Duke University; Francis Rienzo from Medicaid Health Plans of America; and Rich Roth from Dignity Health.

“Our members and advisory council bring a broad range of expertise, resources and innovation to HT4M,” says Abner Mason, founder and co-chair of HT4M and CEO of ConsejoSano. “We’re thrilled to bring the group together to drive real change in technology innovation for Medicaid.”

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