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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2021

‘We’re redefining what the ‘Front Door’ looks like in healthcare’: Nandini Devi, Founder and CEO of Mpowered Health

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“We are focused on the proverbial last mile of the consumer mindshare.”

Mpowered Health is a consumer-driven healthcare technology company, building the future of healthcare by connecting consumers and healthcare enterprises. The California-based company empowers consumers to take charge of their healthcare by providing solutions that improve transparency, choice, access, and convenience. It offers enterprise solutions in compliance, consumer acquisition, and engagement to enable healthcare organizations to serve their consumers more effectively and achieve their organizational goals.

The Silicon Review spoke with Nandini Devi, founder and CEO of Mpowered Health, to learn more about the company’s plans and the challenges that lie ahead. Insights and highlights from the conversation are below.

Interview Excerpt: Nandini Devi

Q. Tell us what inspired you to start Mpowered Health.

The state of healthcare in the US is a hot (often sore) topic for almost everyone whether they are consumers, payers, providers, or the government. The US spends nearly $4 trillion a year on healthcare, of which nearly 30 percent is considered wasteful. Nearly 30 million people in this country do not have or cannot afford insurance coverage. People that do have insurance struggle with increasing premiums, unanticipated out-of-pocket costs, difficulty obtaining medical records, lack of clarity around the cost and quality of their healthcare choices. Privacy concerns, unnecessary care, and over treatment further add to the burden they carry. We have thousands of households for whom a $500 unanticipated healthcare expense is a difficult decision between paying the bill or making their car payment. In addition, we have millions of people who are caregivers for their loved ones and yet have no tools to make their responsibilities any easier.

We as an industry have tried to fix this problem for decades, albeit with mixed results. Most healthcare organizations — payers and providers alike genuinely want to and have committed resources to improve the consumer’s experience. However, structural barriers, misaligned goals and misdirected incentives prevent them from achieving better results. Lack of consumer trust in payers (and even providers to some extent) hinder this progress. We need to rethink our approach to this problem.

We have to empower consumers so that they can make the right choices for themselves and their families. But consumer empowerment cannot be approached as a zero-sum game, i.e. , healthcare organizations also need to see wins if we are to make this sustainable. Effective consumer engagement that reduces costs and improves satisfaction is a big win for healthcare organizations.

I founded Mpowered Health in 2019 on the premise that empowering consumers to be stewards of their own healthcare experience will not only result in more satisfied consumers but also successfully reduce waste in healthcare.

Q. ‘Our vision is to create a company whose solutions can have a positive game-changing impact on the society we live in.’ Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?

Mpowered Health is a bold experiment intended to give consumers a voice, the transparency, the choice, the access, and the convenience they need to manage their own and their family’s healthcare from birth to end-of-life.

Think about what Amazon did for retail, Uber for transportation, Netflix for media, Spotify for music. These companies were able to change entire industry verticals with an unrelenting focus on the consumer experience. This is the best analogy to think about what Mpowered Health seeks to do for consumers in healthcare.

Using Mpowered Health’s mobile application, consumers can now see all their health records from multiple plans and providers in one place. They can compare healthcare options, get second opinions, reconcile their bills, and manage their medical expenses. They can share records with family members, caregivers, doctors, etc. They can take care of their loved ones—all using one app—anytime, anywhere. This app now puts the power back in the consumer’s hands. For instance, consumers can evaluate their healthcare decisions with more information; make the right decision for themselves and their families. The right decision may not always be the lowest cost or most advanced treatment for all families, but a decision that individuals or families make that is relevant to their context results in happier families.

The convenience will help millions of family members and unpaid caregivers of young children, elderly parents, disabled loved ones, others who need a little extra help. This can reduce absenteeism, productivity loss, stress-related health issues among caregivers, and more. That is a tremendously positive impact at ground level.

Q. How does Mpowered Health enable healthcare organizations to serve their consumers more effectively and achieve their organizational goals?

Many healthcare organizations face challenges in engaging patients and members, whether it is adhering to treatment plans, care plans, sharing their information for purposes of care, and more. We offer solutions to help companies in these areas. Specifically, our solutions help healthcare organizations acquire and engage consumers, comply with regulations, and optimize their performance.

For example, Mpowered Health’s first enterprise offering is the CMS 9115F compliance solution. This solution helps Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid plans ad ACOs comply with the CMS 9115F mandate for patient data access. Our solution helps these organizations reduce the cost of compliance while fulfilling the broader goal – that of consumers accessing their data.

Q. What are your focus areas?

We are focused on the proverbial last mile of the consumer mindshare. We are redefining what the ‘front door’ looks like in healthcare. So, solutions that help healthcare organizations deliver their services to the consumer’s doorstep and improve the experience for the consumer align with our vision and strategy. Our solutions deliver demonstrable value to both consumers and the organization in one or more dimensions of efficiency, efficacy, quality, cost, patient experience, transparency, choice, convenience, and access.

Q. As a company seeking to disrupt the consumer experience in healthcare, how do you think about culture and innovation?

We are very much a mission-driven company. We want to create a lasting impact on society by empowering individuals and families to make the right healthcare choices for themselves. This is our true north. Our true north combined with dissatisfaction with the status quo and the need for continuous improvement is our driver of innovation.

We cannot drive innovation continuously without a strong supportive culture. We are still a young startup, but have a clear vision of the meritocratic, impact-oriented culture we want to foster. This translates into core values for our team. Here are our qualities, which make us unique:

  • Leadership: Have the courage to dream and the conviction to follow through.
  • Diversity: Everyone is unique and valued.
  • Collaboration: Change the zero-sum to a win-win.
  • Integrity: Do what is right, even when no one is looking.
  • Compassion: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.
  • Humility: Knowing that we may have to look harder for answers.
  • Quality: What we do, we do well.
  • Grit: We can, and we will.

This is a journey, but I think we are off to a great start.

Q. Will your company be expanding, bringing on any new products or services that we should be aware of?

We are just getting started on what will be an exciting journey for the next several years. We have a long list of capabilities and services planned on both the consumer and enterprise sides.

For example, on the consumer side, we will be adding a new service that enables Medicare beneficiaries, individuals, and families to purchase health insurance through our app. We will also be adding capabilities for consumer self-reporting and management of healthcare expenses.

On the enterprise side, we just launched a CMS 9115F compliance solution, as mentioned above. We plan to launch 9123 and 9915 compliance solutions next year in time for the regulatory deadlines. We will be launching solutions for effective consumer engagement with a special focus on the elderly and vulnerable populations.

The Charismatic Leader Upfront

Nandini Devi, founder, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Mpowered Health. She is a seasoned entrepreneur, strategic thinker, and empathetic leader passionate about building highly impactful, socially responsible companies. Prior to founding Mpowered Health, Ms. Nandini co-founded ZeOmega and helped scale it into one of the largest population health management solutions companies in the industry.

Ms. Nandini holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Bangalore University.

“Our solutions deliver demonstrable value to both consumers and healthcare organizations in one or more dimensions of efficiency, efficacy, quality, cost, patient experience, transparency, choice, convenience, and access.”