The Future of Healthcare: “Why we should move to a value based healthcare system focused on patient outcomes” with Helen Adeosun of CareAcademy

Christina D. Warner
Jan 9 · 8 min read

I think there’s a lot that’s already happening to shift the way we think about care. For example, moving to a value based healthcare system focused on patient outcomes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was one of the early adopters of this system; in recent years, they’ve also begun covering in-home care services under Medicare Advantage plans. I think this speaks to the fact that this type of care is focused on prevention efforts and lower hospital readmission rates — which helps the healthcare system as a whole.


As a part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Helen Adeosun. Helen is the cofounder and CEO of CareAcademy. Helen is very passionate about caregiving and the impact that the right caregiver can have on families. She has worked with Teach for America, Boston Public Schools, and Pearson Education, as well as a number of companies focused on caregiving issues. She holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in Politics and Arabic Studies, an EdM. from Harvard Graduate School of Education in Education Policy and Management.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My years of experience as a direct care worker, educator, and in workforce policy gave me the perspective I needed to build CareAcademy, an e-learning company focused on training senior care professionals. I say that CareAcademy is actually the confluence of all of those experiences.

When my cofounder, Dr. Madhuri Reddy, and I created CareAcademy, we saw that there was a lot missing in healthcare education, specifically, how could we help direct care workers rise to meet the challenges in healthcare. At CareAcademy, we sought to fill the void with fresh, relevant classes to engage learners, a dynamic platform that personalizes learning, and the extra set of hands home care agencies need to increase productivity. So, we started CareAcademy in 2016 with a simple idea: to empower caregivers to learn how to deliver the best care to older adults with the support, guidance, and compassion needed to improve their quality of life. We would then make it easy for direct care workers to upskill and continue their education over time, so they could better serve clients as needs changed and advance their careers. The result is a better healthcare worker, a better home care agency, and a better way to care.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

We have so many interesting stories, but one of the most important ones is how CareAcademy started from teaching classes in-person to learn how to teach better online. In-person teaching was an early benchmark for us of the things that we needed to do to refine our processes. For instance, I taught a class on Falls Prevention at an Iowa agency. We brought in 30 Home Health Aides and were having a great time. We completed simulations and started playing some of the videos that we made. Within 30 minutes, one of the aides had fallen asleep and several people were dozing off. I stopped the video, and in a learning moment (for us as a Company) asked what happened. Several direct care workers raised their hands and said that the video became too long and she had worked a double shift before coming into the office.

We provide online learning and so many of the attributes of how we provide education came from moments just like this one with the direct care worker. We expect no more than 5–15 minutes of your time, and everything is meant to be consumed on a piece by piece basis. I believe we have to serve the needs of the learners, as we now have thousands of direct care workers who were just like the woman in that class, who needed us to take into consideration her double shift.

What makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think what makes CareAcademy stand out is not only our amazing team and platform, but also how we think about changing how the home care industry thinks about the potential of the direct care worker role.

It’s a tough job — direct care workers often work for multiple companies at the same time, may have unpredictable schedules, and may not have the proper training they need to provide the best care for clients. As CareAcademy grows and evolves, we’re thinking about all those things and adding features into our platform that help address those concerns. For example, we have a “portability” feature, which is the first of its kind in the industry. What I mean by that is we allow direct care workers to complete their classes, receive certificates of completion, and take those online certificates of completion with them to any future agency. That way, they can show future employers their current skills, and agencies won’t waste time re-training them on the same topics. Rather, they can focus on upskilling direct care workers and providing them with a career ladder.

Today, CareAcademy services hundreds of customers and has trained over 50,000 direct care workers and counting. provided the connections, education and mentorship to help take the business to its next phase.

Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to and/or see in the healthcare industry? How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo? Which “pain point” is this trying to address?

Eldercare will become increasingly crucial as the baby boomer generation ages. Each day, 10,000 Americans turn 65, joining the 48 million adults age 65 or older, according to NIH’s National Institute on Aging. This is creating a huge direct care worker shortage that only continues to grow, as direct care worker turnover reaches an all-time high of 82%.

One of the missions for CareAcademy is to provide accessible education to direct care workers that 1) prepares them to work with an aging population 2) gives them a chance to upskill and move up the career ladder.

As home care is becoming recognized as part of the healthcare continuum, we are using accessible education to bridge the skills gap between home care and healthcare. Direct care workers are the ones seeing their clients day to day, and they need to be equipped with not only the hard skills to take care of their clients, but also the communication skills needed to report back to the nurses and doctors who develop a patient’s care plan.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Persist, keep going and believe in the value of your dreams.

People don’t see hard times, the most successful people that you’ve seen in your life have had hard times. You’ve got to remember that the best things come through hard times. It is always about persisting through the challenges, writing down the things you want to have happen, and knowing that yesterday is not today and today is not tomorrow.

Solve a problem that you understand.

After being a direct care worker myself, I wanted to take classes that would help train me to have better skills and possibly help me qualify for new opportunities. However, I found it was hard to get to classes. I created CareAcademy to address this challenge–it does what I needed back then. The best way to become an entrepreneur is to solve a problem that you yourself have struggled to solve.

Find Your Mentors

Having people around you that will push you is so important at every level.

Be a storyteller

If you can learn how to tell the story of your mission, you’ll be able to not only inspire your team but also your customers. Learn to tell compelling stories that bring other people in. Learn to tell yourself stories, it can get you through the harder times.

Put Yourself in Scary Situations

It’s ok to be scared but you have to do the things that scare you if you want to move forward. I went into situations like pitching investors terrified but pushed myself to not shy away and embrace the fear.

Let’s jump to the main focus of our interview. According to cited by Newsweek, the US healthcare system is ranked as the worst among high income nations. This seems shocking. Can you share with us 3–5 reasons why you think the US is ranked so poorly?

  1. Fragmented, inefficient primary care system
  2. Lack of investment into the social determinants of health
  3. Lack of insurance coverage

You are a “healthcare insider.” Can you share changes that need to be made to improve the overall US healthcare system and specific steps would need to be taken to implement your ideas? What can individuals, corporations, communities and leaders do to help?

I think there’s a lot that’s already happening to shift the way we think about care. For example, moving to a value based healthcare system focused on patient outcomes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was one of the early adopters of this system; in recent years, they’ve also begun covering in-home care services under Medicare Advantage plans. I think this speaks to the fact that this type of care is focused on prevention efforts and lower hospital readmission rates — which helps the healthcare system as a whole.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better healthcare leader? Can you explain why you like them?

Some of my favorite books about healthcare have a very specific take on how to fix some of the most entrenched and pervasive problems in healthcare and a few of my favorites include:

Who Will Care for Us by Paul Osterman. Doctor Osterman uses the book to highlight every stakeholder- home care workers, clinicians, and patients, take on how the future of healthcare lies in the hands of direct care workers.

The Patient Will See You Now by Eric Topol, MD. The focus in this awesome book is moreso on the journey of the patient within the healthcare system. Topol then details in great fashion, the consumerization of healthcare. I believe that healthcare in the home is a way of thinking about the greater consumerization of healthcare (think Uber Eats, Postmates, the rise of Amazon) and the healthcare worker is a part of this fascinating trend of healthcare of the future.

Podcasts that I love listening to are a variety that stretch my thinking about systems and how people are reimagining the future. A few of my favorites are Hidden Brain, Freaconomics, and Planet Money. They are long form podcasts that deal sometimes directly in healthcare, but often help me learn about human behavior, economic principles, and how that can broadly apply to healthcare.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Twitter: and

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Christina D. Warner

Written by

Author of The Art of Healthcare Innovation. Order it at amzn.to/31TBrZM or christinadwarner.com

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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