‘Why I Joined Tomorrow Health' by Rich King, Head of Data
Rich King, Head of Data, discusses his excitement around changes taking place in healthcare and why he wants to be a part of the change at Tomorrow Health.
A little over 15 years ago, I got a job at a small insurance brokerage that sells group benefits to small and mid-sized companies. Candidly, a career in healthcare was never on my radar. But I needed a job, and they needed someone to answer the phones. Hey, it seemed like a match!
As an account manager, I talked to hundreds of people - ordinary people, people from my community, people like me. These were hard-working folks who counted on employer-sponsored health coverage for themselves and their families.
This job gave me my first peek inside healthcare in the US, and what I saw was troubling. I saw patients struggling to get medications covered, medications that kept their conditions well-managed, because their formulary was different with their new health plan. I talked to employees who had to forgo diagnostic testing because they couldn’t afford their deductibles. And I facilitated appeal after appeal for claims that were paid incorrectly, or denied outright. I thought, “This is healthcare?”. It was - and it was on life support.
As frustrating as healthcare is at times, I knew from then on that there must be a way to change the system from within. I had seen the problems firsthand, and I wanted to be a part of the solution. That’s when I decided to go all in.
Fast forward to today, and there has never been more momentum for change in healthcare. The past 10 years have seen some monumental shifts, like the incredible expansion of health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, high adoption rates of EHRs in both hospitals and ambulatory settings, and even Big Tech looking for a piece of the healthcare pie.
But there are subtler positive changes taking place as well: patients are automatically qualifying for care management programs based on their medical histories, pharmacies are texting us when it’s time to schedule our annual flu shots, and predictive analytics are even flagging ICU patients with sepsis risk before infection sets in. These changes are made possible by data, and these are the changes I get excited about.
There’s an interesting duality in healthcare: on the one hand, change is slow to take hold and we’re facing many of the same problems we were facing 20 years ago (*cough* interoperability and faxed orders and medical records). On the other hand, digital health startups, like Tomorrow Health, are creating exciting new data-driven technologies with the potential to fundamentally alter the patient experience. Some of these changes are behind the curtain (like using data to predict sepsis risk) and others are right in front of us.
At Tomorrow Health, we’re building what will be the de facto platform for home-based care, a platform that connects patients to needed services with a laser focus on quality. By creating this connective tissue, we’re playing a critical role in bridging the data gaps that will ultimately drive improved outcomes.
Most importantly, we’re making it possible for patients to receive care where they want to receive it the most - at home. That’s why I joined Tomorrow Health.