Nov 15, 2019


6 min read

HLTH 2019 highlights: What we learned about healthcare


Zeena Ojjeh

Last week, the OODA team joined over 6,000 healthcare executives in Las Vegas for the annual HLTH conference. HLTH brings together payers, providers, investors, startups and policy-makers to discuss the most important issues in healthcare.

HLTH has been and continues to be an important conference for us at OODA. In 2018, we officially launched our company on the main stage, and this year we had our public launch for our first product, OODAPay, at HLTH.

Here’s our recap of key highlights for OODA Health from HLTH:

The entire health ecosystem is changing

Both new and established companies are solving for the social determinants of health, putting the patient as the focal point for change, and developing new technologies to improve access to care.

Jonathan Weiner said it best in his opening remarks, “Our industry is at a critical point. Cost and quality are not where they need to be. Participants in the health ecosystem are driving towards transformation and literally transitioning from yesterday's legacy systems and outdated models to tomorrow's scientific innovations disruptive technologies and the consumers appetite to personalized, affordable and effective care”.

We’re excited to see key stakeholders driving change in the healthcare system.  In the first half of 2019 we saw record healthcare investments, with $26.9 billion invested into 2,258 healthcare companies around the world.  HLTH itself doubled in size. In 2018, the conference had over 3,500 attendees and in 2019 there were over 7,000 attendees.

It’s time to be proactive in healthcare, instead of reactive

It was exciting to hear this come up as a key theme in many of the sessions and conversations at HLTH. Notably, Mark Cuban, discussed the difference between health and healthcare and how our system is fundamentally flawed because it does not focus on the patient prior to the hospital visit. He left the audience with the message that you don’t have to be a CEO or President to make change and that we all drive reform.

We saw this theme again when Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, launched the Food For Life program at HLTH. Our team was deeply saddened by the news of Bernard’s passing, as he was an inspiration to all of us. Bernard and his team saw that food security was one of the most pressing issues related to health and that it’s a solvable problem -- so Kaiser launched programs to proactively help patients access food and change patient attitudes towards food.

Bernard also spoke about the four building blocks of Kaiser Permanente and stressed the importance of mental health. Among his many important messages one that stood out to us was, “The whole idea of separating the head from the body and treating mental health over there as if the head is completely detached from the body was one of the mistakes that must be corrected in health and healthcare in the 21st century.”

These powerful messages show us that it is time to be proactive in healthcare.

The Power of Blue Panel

Dr. Giovanni Colella, our co-founder and CEO, was honored to have the opportunity to moderate a panel with Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO of Anthem, and Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

The panel focused on driving member experience through disruption and collaboration. In the panel both Pam and Gail spoke about their experiences transforming archaic healthcare technology and how strategic partnerships have been one of the key levers for change.

In the panel, we also shared a short testimonial video for the OODAPay pilot, featuring patients from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Dignity Health. The patients’ excitement about their new healthcare billing experience set the foundation for a thought provoking conversation and we were thrilled to receive positive feedback from the audience.

One of our favorite anecdotes was when Pam shared, “OODA creates a comprehensive health statement that outlines the services and amount, how much insurance is paying, and then what’s left for the member to pay. So they get one document they don’t have to reconcile multiple documents. This is one of the situations where it’s win-win-win.”

“The members you saw [on video] are real members that went through this experience. They love it because it’s easy, Dignity loves it because they have a happy customer and they get their money right away, and I love it as an insurance company because my customer is happy and I have fewer calls coming in to my call center. It’s a great example of improving the member experience through collaborative disruption", said Pam.

Another favorite quote was when Gail shared what members want, “Personal, simple, and predictable. We’re trying to figure out how to simplify it. We have lots of different interactions and rules, and our first goal has to be to take data and technology, similar to the example we just saw, and use it to inform our processes”.

This resonated with us because what OODAPay does at its core is simplify the patient experience, making it more understandable and predictable as well as give patients access to concierge services that are personalized.

Our President, Seth Cohen’s Tech Talk

We were thrilled to leverage the HLTH conference to launch OODAPay! Seth Cohen, our president and co-founder, spoke on a Tech Talk stage about what OODAPay does, how we’re reimagining the role of providers and payers, and shared our 96% member satisfaction rate with patient billing (which is unheard of)! The crowd was eager to hear more, and we had many attendees come to our booth to start a conversation.

One of the key messages Seth left the audience with is that “good things happen when you equip payers to improve the patient experience and resolve their billing issues!"

Our expo presence

Not only did our booth give us an opportunity to give out fun OODA swag (our coffee bar and chocolates seemed to be a hit), it also gave our team the opportunity to have engaging conversations with HLTH attendees. We were delighted by everyone's support and interest in what we’re building and also the incredible focus everyone has on member experience.

That’s a wrap for 2019! We hope to see you again in 2020. In the meantime, make sure to follow our blog to learn about other conferences we’re attending! As always, we encourage you to reach out if you’re interested in learning more about OODA Health or OODAPay.

Learn about how you can partner with OODA Health to improve your members’ experience and your revenue management.