What is your role at Decent?
I am the Chief Health Plan Officer— also known as the “in house healthcare nerd”. I get to build a health plan from the ground up that is agile and consumer centered and easy to understand for our members. Which is tragically novel in health insurance.
What is your background?
I started in healthcare working in a doctor’s office in September of 1996. I worked for providers while I got my undergrad degree. After graduating, I made my way over to the health plan side working in Provider Network for Aetna, United Healthcare, and Regence BlueShield. I did some consulting work with provider revenue cycle as well. After getting my MBA from the University of Washington I became part of the strategic investments team at Cambia Health Solutions. We evaluated about 300 companies a year for investment. My main role was business development for our portfolio companies and being the in house “Creator of Opportunities” at the Cambia Grove in Seattle. I left Cambia and joined SEIU 775 Benefits Group where I had the opportunity to spearhead health plan strategy as a self-funded purchaser for 20,000 insured lives. The Benefits Group presented unique opportunities to mitigate social determinants, address mental/behavioral health head-on, and make sure we took care of those people taking care of our loved ones. I left the Benefits Group in April of this year to join Decent.
Why were you motivated to join Decent?
Healthcare in the US is a broken and battered system and there are smart people trying to help make it better. These efforts are leading to a lot of innovation in this space but most solutions are solving problems that exist in the system today but, not actually improving the system to work better in the future. Decent is going to change how the healthcare system works. This is no small feat. We are going to leverage existing innovations and create some new strategies of our own. We are tackling misaligned incentives (Fee For Service), reducing the massive complexities and inefficiencies that are the current health insurance model, and making the experience work for people — not companies. It’s time to change the game and I am up for that challenge. It energizes me every day to be able to take all of my healthcare experience and put it to work to fundamentally change how people in this country experience healthcare.
Why is improving healthcare important to you?
After roughly 22 years working in the deepest darkest corners of healthcare like CPT claims coding, provider contracting, EMR implementations, and revenue cycle — I was delighted to shake that off and work with startups which were trying to improve the way the system worked. I love connecting startups to industry SMEs, Operational Leaders, Strategic Partners, etc. What I realized in doing that was that in order for fundamental change to take hold, the point solutions have to be combined into a consumable experience that would be easy enough for my mom to understand. That does not exist today. We have to do better. Also, “Hi Mom!”
Describe something not-work related you are passionate about.
I coach The Derby Liberation Front which is part of the Rat City Roller Derby league here in Seattle. I used to play but I broke 3 bones, dislocated my shoulder, and had a daughter-so I don’t play anymore. I love coaching strong skaters — all shapes, sizes, races, gender identities, and sexual orientations — we’re hiring strong skaters now at Decent. Skating and coaching roller derby has taught me many lessons; be a good community member, get up fast when you fall down, learn how to take direction, communicate to your teammates, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. These translate into really good habits in the workplace as well. :)