Clarify Health is excited to welcome Lisa White to our team as a Transformation Executive. Lisa joins Clarify from a leading Blue plan, where she directed value-based innovation and strategic partnerships. Get to know Lisa, her background, and what she’s looking forward to in her new role here in our employee spotlight Q&A.
How did you get into healthcare?
That is such an easy story because it’s a single point. I kind of had an idea that I wanted to go into healthcare when I was in high school, but it was a work experience later on that sealed the deal.
Early in my career, I was working as a benefits administrator for a large corporation, and whenever an employee needed help with their benefits, they would come to me. One day, an employee came into my office from the manufacturing floor with papers in his hand and tears in his eyes. His teenage son had been on a hunting trip in the mountains of north Georgia and had been accidentally shot by another hunter. Unfortunately, the emergency room at the hospital where they took him for treatment was not “in network”. So, this poor dad got a bill for $120,000. He told me “I had to save my son’s life, but now I’m financially ruined.”
This was a pivotal experience for me because I was fortunate enough growing up that I always had healthcare. It led me to start paying attention to just how broken the system was and how the system didn’t really work for patients.
It wasn’t until later that I got into the provider side that I understood how it doesn’t work for providers either.
Tell me a little bit about your experience on the healthcare provider side…
I started in physical therapy as the regional director for a physical therapy clinic that had just come into Atlanta and was growing. Through that experience, I learned about coding, billing, and physical therapy modalities. I learned how to discuss treatment options with doctors – as well as lawyers, because we worked with a lot of personal injury attorneys. So, that was my first provider-side experience showing how complex all this is, how referrals work, and again how confusing it can be for patients.
After that, I went into long-term care, where I stayed for a long time. I was very passionate about long-term care, and I ended up getting a job with some investors that were building and opening assisted living facilities in metro Atlanta for dementia care. Even though we weren’t treating patients, we were caring for them, and we were helping to coordinate all their care externally. So there I was in an environment where I’m beginning to understand how patients navigate, how caregivers navigate, and how providers navigate.
When I worked in the institutional pharmacy space, I gained insight into working with long-term care facilities and how billing ultimately impacts the families of the patients that are in those facilities, which doctors were over-prescribing, and how new drugs are introduced to the market. It was a whole other layer of context.
How did you finally make your way into the health plan side of things?
I decided to go to the payer side mostly because I got tired of complaining about it. I wanted to be part of making the system better.
I’ve made conscious decisions throughout my career to move to different parts of the healthcare ecosystem so I could connect all those dots. In every single job that I’ve had, every space that I’ve been in, there has been a whole new set of context added to my knowledge base and, consequently, a whole new set of motivations.
I always jokingly tell people I’ve been in healthcare one way or another since before HIPAA and the internet. So you do the math.
How did you get interested in value-based care?
When I was at the institutional pharmacy company, we had a number of nursing homes that started participating in BPCI, and I got really involved in it. I thought it was so cool and it was like a light bulb experience for me. I thought, “this is what we should be doing – focusing everything back on clinical utilization. What’s happening? Is it right? Is it good; is it best?”
And it just kind of went on from there. I stood up a population health management program and the first value-based program at the largest Kentucky Medicaid health plan.
What are some of the reasons that got you excited about joining a company like Clarify?
Well, let’s be specific. It wasn’t a company like Clarify. It was Clarify.
I’m a skeptic when it comes to healthcare technology, AI, shiny new things, etc. Once I saw Clarify’s data sets, how they worked, how they were transparent, and how I could uncover new insights, I was stunned. It was the proof in the pudding, and at some point, I thought, “this is a game changer.” The point with Clarify is patient journeys – and that’s exactly what providers and payers have got to understand and have access to.
I’ve had an excitement around health tech for a long time, but I think we often fall short in a lot of ways in what we could be doing with it. But Clarify is next-level.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Clarify?
Helping customers and potential customers uncover the use cases that they can solve. The questions that they can answer–those ‘so what’ questions. So, what is this telling me? So, what do I do about it? So, what does this mean for the patient? So, what does this mean for the member? How do I use Clarify to answer all these questions that are part of this initiative?
As one of my first programs, I’m putting together a transformation readiness assessment and use case playbook for health plans. Many plans, especially Blue plans, offer some type of value program. A lot of the readiness we’ll focus on is more about “are you actually in a position to move this forward, and in what way? What do and don’t you have in place, and what kind of leadership support is there? What kind of accountability is there?” Some health plans think they are ready to transform, they want to do transformative work, but they aren’t sure what the success factors really are.
This is coming from someone who hates fun facts, but is there anything fun that you’d want to share?
I sang on stage with a choir at Carnegie Hall in 2011. And I’m married to a Jeopardy champion.