What is Haven? Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire revamp health care

Haven is building quite a team.

Most recently, Haven hired Sandhya Rao, the senior medical director for health care system Partners Population Health, to run clinical strategy, according to an email viewed by CNBC announcing her departure. A Haven spokesperson confirmed the hire to CNBC, and said that Rao’s official title is vice president of clinical strategy.

She will join:

  • CEO Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer on health care
  • Chief Operating Officer Jack Stoddard, a seasoned health-tech executive
  • Chief Technology Officer Serkan, formerly CTO of ZocDoc, a doctor-booking app.
  • Dana Gelb Safran from Blue Cross Blue Shield in Massachusetts, who will run run analytics projects.
  • David Smith, an executive they hired from UnitedHealth’s Optum unit, which prompted a lawsuit from Optum over an alleged breach of contract.

So what do all these hires point to?

After analyzing the team, Trevor Price, founder and CEO of Oxeon Partners, a top health-tech recruiting firm, suggested that Haven will likely build a “risk-based clinically integrated network.”

That is, he believes the team would first build a curated network of doctors by analyzing data on performance, cost and other factors. Then it would build trust with employees and direct them to the appropriate type of care for their condition — for instance, an urgent care clinic, medical specialist or telemedicine appointment. It’s about “steerage,” said Price, which could save these employers on their health costs by preventing workers from seeing doctors that over-charge and under-perform.

Price says Stoddard is particularly interesting because he worked at a digital health company called Accolade that specializes in building these relationships with employees and then directing them to the most affordable care.

That suggests Haven might also contract directly with hospitals and clinics and agree to pay them based on the quality of care they provide, rather than the quantity of patients they see or tests they order.

All in all, said Price, it’s an impressive group that spans entrepreneurship, technology and clinical medicine , although it is biased towards people who’ve worked at large corporations. It suggests Haven has big plans, as these folks would be unlikely to leave their day jobs for an initiative that lacks ambition.

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