Driving Better Access to Care
Advocatia's What We Know digest shares conversations with some of the industry’s brightest minds about the challenges and opportunities they face.
Today’s conversation is with Caitlin Donovan, Global Head of Uber Health. Since 2018, Uber Health’s HIPAA-supported solution has helped enable access to care and services for healthcare organizations focused on population health management. By tapping into Uber’s logistics expertise, Uber Health helps connect millions to the care they need. Over 3,000 healthcare customers trust Uber Health to provide access to options for stress-free transportation and critical deliveries, helping streamline population health management and supporting better patient outcomes. For more information, visit uberhealth.com.
Caitlin shares her perspective with Advocatia about how Uber Health is helping to increase access to care.
On the Holistic Transformation of Care Delivery
In today’s climate, what are some innovations that are bubbling up that you feel could transform how organizations work together to drive better health outcomes for the people of our communities?
CD: When it comes to technology solutions that help to innovate healthcare, we are seeing three primary buckets of innovation emerging that are transforming how health outcomes are impacted.
The first group are point solutions and care model innovations that focus on specific chronic conditions. These solutions also help with engaging the population battling those conditions, to drive more complete care plans.
The second is identifying clear gaps in the way our healthcare system works, to help people more easily access resources that are available to all. I think Advocatia fits squarely into this bucket
The third is connecting various point solutions – in our case logistics solutions like transportation and the movement of goods into a full platform. Uber Health is firmly focused in this space
I think each innovation alone is not enough, we need investment in all three of these areas to really transform care delivery, holistically. The right care model for the right patient is table stakes. But, a care model doesn’t successfully change behavior if the patient can’t access the right resources. And a patient with a complicated care plan can’t access the right resources without a platform to tie them comprehensively together.
On Driving Better Access to Care
How is your organization living out its mission today? What are some of the obstacles you are encountering in doing so and how are you addressing them?
CD: The mission of Uber Health is to help provide better access to care. We make it easier to engage patients and allow them to navigate their care plan more successfully.
The good news is that this is a common goal across the healthcare ecosystem. Where we are finding obstacles is in the current structural design around reimbursement to best enable that care. We spend a lot of our time talking with health plans and other payers about how to innovate the payment structure to align incentives to better deliver care holistically. Creating an ecosystem allows us, collectively, to do that better.
I think a lot about both the power and fallacy of big tech in healthcare. The key is leveraging the power while avoiding the pitfalls that big tech companies have historically experienced. The power today lies in great consumer engagement mechanisms that really work to ease access to care. Where we have seen missteps in the past is not considering the ecosystem requirements. We as a company spend a great deal of time thinking about how we build for the existing ecosystem as well as for the individual.
On How Caring for the Caregiver Cares for the Patient
What role do you see for healthcare organizations in the greater physical, social and emotional wellness of our communities? What role does your organization play in driving innovation in that area? CD: When you think about wellness and delivering care to patients, we often think about clinical delivery first. The infrastructure that exists today doesn’t support that very well. It is challenging for a patient to access the right tools even though accessing resources is ideally part of the interaction between the provider and the patient.
The role of Uber Health is to help make access easier and to help the provider guide the patient through the resources available, without adding additional work. We talk a lot about how we care for caregivers in our mission because they are the person the patient knows to go to as their ultimate trusted advisor.
You can’t change care delivery for the better without understanding and providing for the caregivers' experience. While the ultimate beneficiary of our platform is the patient, our platform was built for caregivers with their workflow in mind.
On Collaboration as the Key to the Full Continuum of Care Delivery
Collaboration has become a bigger focus than ever. How are you and your organization approaching collaboration today? How does that differ from the past? CD: Without collaboration, you end up with a mediocre product. Choosing to do everything yourself often results in doing nothing well. This is precisely why picking the right partners to bring together the full continuum of what a patient needs is so important.
As an operator at heart, I naturally think in terms of a process, particularly from a population health standpoint. How do I figure out which patients need what service? What is the appropriate dataset and screening mechanism to find the patients that need care? What is the best way to outreach and engage them and help them target resources? How do we administer that care? Providers typically have a well-developed approach to the clinical side of administering care, but there are so many other elements that can prevent a person from completing all the components of a care plan.
Advocatia is a piece of that by helping remove obstacles that prevent patients from getting care and providing access to important resources. Uber Health is a part of that as well by helping to solve for the physical access to care. A goal of Uber Health is to solve the physical access limitations a patient may have with navigating their care, by getting them from one place to another or their services to them.
On a Frictionless Consumer Experience
What are the people in your community seeking from your organization that stretches how things have traditionally been done in interesting ways?
CD: I think Uber keeps consumer experience in mind first. What that means for Uber Health is that we think about the broader overall experience within the healthcare ecosystem to leverage the core competency of our organization. Our goal is to create frictionless experiences. It is great to see our hypothesis playing out and our mission embraced in the marketplace.
About Caitlin Donovan
Caitlin Donovan is the Global Head of Uber Health. She joined Uber most recently from MyOrthos, an Orthodontic Services Organization, where she served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, Caitlin developed her knack for tackling obstacles to patient care as Chief Operating Officer of Circulation and Executive Vice President of Operations at LogistiCare (now ModivCare), specialty benefit managers in the non-emergency medical transportation space. She also served as the Vice President of Operations at CareCentrix with a focus on home health and post-acute care. Early in her career, she worked in finance as an investor at Bain Capital and as a member of the internal consulting group at Summit Partners. She earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Harvard University and lives in Dover, Massachusetts with her husband and two boys.