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How Anthropology Can Help Improve Health Outcomes with Abner Mason, Founder and CEO at ConsejoSano

Abner Mason, Founder and CEO at ConsejoSano

How Anthropology Can Help Improve Health Outcomes

Breaking cultural barries to improve healthcare

How Anthropology Can Help Improve Health Outcomes with Abner Mason, Founder and CEO at ConsejoSano

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Conjectures and Refutations by Karl Popper

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How Anthropology Can Help Improve Health Outcomes with Abner Mason, Founder and CEO at ConsejoSano

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas, great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there’s one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is slow. That’s why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That’s outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

Welcome back to the show. And today I have an outstanding guest. His name is Abner Mason. He’s the Founder and CEO at ConsejoSano, the only patient engagement and care navigation solution designed to help clients activate their multicultural patient populations to better engage with the health care system. As you all know this population health care approach is so important especially as the demographics of our country change. ConsejoSano’s clients are typically health plans and provider groups serving Medicaid and Medicare Advantage members and patient populations. So the work that Abner’s doing is fascinating. Currently he’s the CEO there but previously he served as Founder and CEO of the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico. They provide members companies with access to cutting edge workplace wellness programs and a form of best practices. He’s done a lot. He was appointed by US President George Bush to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. He’s done a lot of things with other states as well. So it’s a pleasure to welcome Abner to the podcast to hear his story and the work that they do at ConsejoSano. Abner, welcome.

Thanks, thanks I’m glad to be here.

It’s a pleasure to have you my friend. So did I miss anything in your bio that you want to share with the listeners?

Not only that I did do a stint in state government so I have had the experience of working on the government side which has its own unique challenges. So I always like to remind people that I have done my duty on the government side.

Hey man that’s important right. Because a big part of the payer is government.

Yep yep yep. Chief policy adviser for two governors of Massachusetts and also worked in a couple of agencies in state government so I know I’ve got a feel for the cadence of state government and government in general and state governors in particular and the cadence is slow so I’m having I’m on the other side and I’m trying to frequently work with governments experiencing it. Realize just how slow government business one of the things we need change.

Love it man I love it. Totally agree with that. So what would you say is the reason you got into the medical sector? What got you in man?

I was a bit of an accident. I was a Chief Policy Adviser for the governor of Massachusetts and my background had really been in transportation. I had been deputy secretary of transportation from Massachusetts and deputy A.G. for the transit authority in Massachusetts so I had a lot of experience on the transit side and then I started to work on the highway side as well. But then the governor asked me to come to the governor’s office to be Chief Policy Adviser. And in that role I had to learn about other parts of government beyond transportation including education the environment. All the other sectors of government at around that time I was asked to join the Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. And that’s really what got me into health care because when I joined the advisory council in HIV and AIDS I realize the challenges that HIV posed both domestically and internationally. They were good enough to appoint me chairman of the International subcommittee. So I was responsible for helping develop recommendations for the president, the secretary of state, and secure health and what the U.S. should do with respect to AIDS globally. And that just opened my eyes to the importance of health care but also to the importance of tackling big challenges and health care. And I learned a lot and then experience so that led me down the path of doing more and more in health care.

Man what a winding path. But you know what. It’s oftentimes when you get thrown into these situations that you’re forced to grow and then you all of a sudden like when you least expect it you just sort of find your love for health care and I think it’s so cool that you happen upon it like this.

Yeah it was not you know a plan that’s for sure a winding road here. But once I sort of dug into health care it’s a fascinating area as you know it’s got amazing challenges but you can really at the end of the day know that if you are effective you’re really improving people’s lives. So that’s a great incentive.

I agree completely so improving people’s lives is key and I think a reason why a lot of people stay despite the challenges in health care. What would you say Abner is a hot topic that needs to be on every medical leaders agenda and how are you and your team at ConsejoSano addressing this?

Obviously I’m preface this by saying I’m biased. What I think is a hot topic and certainly what we focus on here is trying to make sure that we can find ways to connect health care to what is becoming the majority of Americans so let me take a step back and explain and share my thinking on that. The country has changed demographically quite dramatically over the last few decades and we’re on our way to becoming a majorit, minority country according to the U.S. Census will reach that status as a country in 2050. Majority minority.

So how do you define that? What is that? What does that mean?

So that means that basically if you add up the groups that are non-traditional white American yes you add up the populations of those groups they constitute the majority.

Okay got it.

Take Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians and Arabics folks and add them of all of those. What we would traditionally call minority groups broadly speaking if you add them up they will constitute a majority. That’s a dramatic demographic change that has occurred and is occurring over the last you know three four decades. So according to the census the whole country will be majority minority by 2050. Some states you know like where I am in California we are already a majority minority state. If you take Hispanics who are 40% of the population here and add to that Chinese and African Americans and the other minority groups those groups compose a majority in California today the same thing is true in Texas today. Texas is the majority minority state. So this is a huge demographic change.


And it is a change that let’s face it it’s not easy. If you look at rest of our national politics today a lot of what you hear and see and read in our national politics reflects the struggle to accept this demographic change it’s hard and it has created a lot of stresses in certain sectors of the economy and of society. I think that when health care for those of us who are in health care we have to accept that this change has happened. This is the America that we have become and it’s the America that we are continuing to become. The idea that we can reverse this, it’s just not possible.


So people in health care have to accept that we are a very multicultural country and becoming more so. That’s the first thing we have to accept. And then the second thing is that health care in America has not kept up at all with that demographic change. Our health care system is just not equipped to serve the America that we have become and that needs to change. Like in California I’ll give you. Credit is the Caligula’s 40 % Hispanic right…


Only 5% of doctors speak Spanish speaking Spanish is not even go here because what really is important is not just speaking the language but it’s understanding the culture so that we can engage with these patients. So just to answer your question the big challenge here is how do we begin to make the changes so that our health care system can engage with. Because if you don’t engage with people you’re not going to get good health outcomes if you can’t get people to trust you, to come in for appointments, to tell you the truth when they come in, you’ve got to get you’ve got to reach out to them, you’ve got to get them to come in, and you got to get them to tell you the truth, you’ve got to get them to engage in a dialogue with you as a healthcare provider of health care system you know writ large. We’ve got to engage with people and we don’t really get terrible outcomes and that’s what’s happening now. And I think it will get worse if we don’t begin to figure out ways to engage with the people that the health care system has to serve and that engagement is not about language it’s about culture is about connecting with people is, who they are, understanding who they are, and building trust, and hopefully over time that trust leads to a level of engagements that people say “Okay I’m going to listen to you. I’m going to come in. I’m going to have a relationship with a primary for example a primary care provider. I’m going to listen to my primary care provider. I’m going to start to think about my health in a more holistic way”. So all of these things are important for us going forward and I think that if we don’t start to get some of that right a lot of the other good things we’re doing in health care are not going to bear fruit because we won’t have the engagement that we need. That’s some of the fundamental requirement.

Abner, I think this is very insightful and I like what you’ve done here. Typically we find ourselves stuck not necessarily stuck but reflecting on things that matter in health care. But you’ve taken a step back and you’ve forced us like the listeners me to not just think about health care but reflect on the population of the U.S. and take a look at it and how that affects health care. So looking from the outside in folks it’s so important that we don’t get stuck in the trenches like we do. I mean we do that we were guilty of it. Nothing wrong with it but let’s step back and start looking at the changes of the demographics that are happening in this country and that’s why today with the discussion we’re having with Abner this will be great way to sort of get you to start thinking about what you’re going to do differently to best adapt to these changes seek a better serve your communities. You could better serve your patients so give us an example Abner of how you and your organization have created results by doing things differently.

Sure. So one of the things we realized pretty early is that to get engagement we were going to have to do things differently to get engagement with these multicultural populations who aren’t engaged. So we look to see what what’s happening now and it’s not as though health care providers across the country stakeholders you know plans and provider groups. It’s not as though they don’t know that these demographic change is happening. And so many of them have taken a step to start to address that. And what we call it is of multicultural patient engagement 1.0. Right. So and what that is is it’s translation. Basically health care providers across the country if you wherever you go. Basically what they do is they take content that was designed and written for a more traditional sort of English speaking American who grew up in the English speaking environment. They take content written for that person and they translate it into other languages. And that 1.0 version doesn’t work for a couple reasons one to engage people you’ve got to connect with them, you’ve got to figure out a way to build a bridge to them to connect with them, and when you send content that was written for a person A whose life experience who’s in who’s understanding of health care who has experience with health care who’s experience with you know life in America is completely different, completely different from person B. But you send a message intended for person to person B you just sort of translate it sometimes poorly using like a you know some sort of google translate. You get really bad results and you don’t get engagement…

And you gain the last connection right?



You really raise a good point. So even though it’s well intended sometimes because plans are you know in provider groups and they’re trying to reach out sometimes it’s not that well intended. They’re just checking the box it’s just a regulatory requirement alerting a lot of places of America in order to comply with the law. You have to offer your services in these languages. So to check the box they just hard translate checking the box so really there isn’t a real intent to connect with these people. They’re just checking a regulatory box. But even sometimes there is a good intent, they’re trying. But here’s what happens if you’ve ever been a member of a minority group and you’ve been treated equally or you have been made to feel invisible or you’ve been made to feel like who you are really doesn’t matter. And sometimes you’ve just been outright discriminated against. It’s ever been in that it’s in a person who belongs to a group and experience that what happens over time is you develop a very clean awareness of when people are being sincere and reaching out to you because they really want to know who you are. They really want to connect with you and they really value you as a person versus checking the box. It’s like this antenna that these folks have and even if it’s well intended if you send a check the box message that’s really a content written for someone else that you’re just checking the box. It can have a negative effect. It’s actually worse than doing nothing because what it says to the person receiving it is you really don’t care who I am. You really don’t care to learn about me. You’re making no effort whatsoever to connect with me and what that does is it builds distrust. It can also make people not like you very much but if you treat people that way like they don’t matter who they are is not important. It’s no wonder they don’t want that kind of engage with you. So I think we’ve got to get away from that 1.0 version of engagement. And so what we are suggesting a consensus on what we’re doing is what we call 2.0 we’re saying we’ve got to take it to the next level and that is we don’t think translation works. You have to start instead with culture. We have to figure out who these people are and what they care about, what they believe, what they hope for, what they fear, where they live, where they come from, what their experiences are in daily life. Trying to get a better feel for the whole person who they are. And we call that culture to…


And that encapsulates all of it which I don’t understand who people are culturally so we start there then we design content based on the culture. So we don’t design content you know we don’t send a message to an Arabic speaker a young Arabic mom. She may be low made Medicaid. We don’t send the message to her that the same message we would send to English speaking mom of the same age who has wound up in the U.S. culture. Not only is the language different but the content itself is different because of the way that Arabic understands life in America or what she experiences the way she understands healthcare the way her culture has weaved in and understanding of health care with the American experience it’s even unique it’s not even as though it’s the same as if she lived in her home country. There’s a wonderful I think kind of thing that happens when these cultures hit American culture and the third new thing gets created. So we’re trying to connect with people on that level. So it’s first of that culture then we design the content then we layer in the language so see language from and our view is language is a tool. It’s not. It doesn’t tell you anything about what you should communicate. It’s a tool to communicate. Yes though language is actually the third thing it’s not even the most important thing. Its first culture then content then language. And then the fourth thing that’s really important is mode of communication. Health care in America is still stuck in the 30 years ago today and guarantee it’s true for human beings.

So you mean you should have faxed these people?

Exactly. I mean it’s craving that is. When they 18 right and you can’t send a text message to the everybody communicates via text message. Everyone in America this is the way we communicate now. And yet in health care we can’t do that. I was at a conference two weeks ago yeah. Held in San Diego it was a conference of Regional Health Plans. There were 27 plans across the country. These are pretty large health plans, regional plans across the country twenty seven. I was giving a talk I said “how many of you primarily communicate via text message with your family and your friends?” Everyone raised their hands. “How many of you communicate with your members who are in population health management or chronic disease management or just general engagement?” Not one hand went up.


Not one. This is 2018. It’s as though…

Not even one?

Not one you know I jokingly say you guys may as well be using morse code numbers because snail mail and e-mail and I mean they’re stuck in these old modalities engagement. That’s not the way people communicate today. So I’ll stop there. But it gives you a sense of how we are trying to change the way we approach engagement and what we’re getting is incredible result because it turns out when you respect people enough to connect with them it’s who they are and treat them like they actually have value as a person. They belong they are someone they they come from somewhere they have a history and you know they have hopes and dreams you treat it you treat them that way and you are willing to communicate with them in a way that they want to communicate as opposed to the way we want to communicate. You know the mode you can get the results.

Love it. I think it’s great. Definitely want to dive into these results that you’re discussing Abner. When I was in college one of my favorite classes was anthropology. I just loved anthropology is one of my favorite classes. Maybe my instructor was cool but you know it was just so intriguing to hear about different cultures and to learn the different theories. And I just think about what you and what your team does. You guys are like the health care anthropologists.

That’s really cool. I like it.

And you could help people understand and communicate and in fact get the outcomes that we’re looking for so the health care anthropologist right here on the line with Abner my friends.

I love that. That’s great.

Hey Abner so definitely want to understand more about the types of results you guys are getting. But before we talk about that I like to learn a little bit more about setbacks. Like Can you share one of the setbacks that you had whether it be with ConsejoSano or something else in your career that gave you a pearl that because of it you never do things any different because of that. So can you highlight a setback and what you learn from it.

Sure. So when I first had the idea to create ConsejoSano which means help the advice in Spanish it came from, I was doing work in Mexico as you know my previous company was a corporate wellness company in Mexico and so I saw that there were a lot of amazing things happening in Mexico and health care particularly using digital and the mobile phone. Mexico is emerging a growth economy. You had a growing middle class looking for solutions that were affordable and convenient and confidential and obviously high quality but cost effective and telemedicine was growing in Mexico faster even than in the U.S. at that point because they didn’t have a lot of the legacy issues that restrain telemedicine growth in the U.S. you the U.S. we have this practice of medicine regulations each state you couldn’t have a national solution you could not have for a while a national player in telemedicine because it made it very different because of the state practice of medicine regulations where a doctor had to be licensed in the state when the patient was. So some of that’s changing now in the U.S. and so telemedicine I think is a big part of the future in the U.S. right. But this was like five years ago eight years ago I saw in Mexico that it was going really fast and there they didn’t have those legacy issues you could have one license of the whole country. And you have a growing middle class looking for solutions and they didn’t have a lot of infrastructure either. So you know their health care system wasn’t as advanced. So in a sense they were able to leapfrog to something new because they didn’t have some of the older legacy stuff in the way. So I saw that and I thought this is amazing you’ve got a middle class middle upper middle class Mexicans using telemedicine for health care. And I thought if we could and I met one of the largest telemedicine companies in Mexico I got to know them. They have an incredible service. And I had this idea in the U.S. you have very few doctors and providers who speak Spanish right. So if I could connect with the mobile phone, Hispanics in the U.S. with this call center, the telemedicine company in Mexico they had a huge call center in Mexico City that was serving the whole country incredible quality, fantastic operation, McKinsey and Company of a study called them a world class telemedicine solutions are really high quality. So here’s my idea I said I’m going to connect Spanish speakers in the U.S. low income Spanish speakers in the U.S. with these doctors in Mexico by mobile phone you could tap your phone anywhere in the U.S. and you’d be connected in 10 seconds to a doctor in Mexico who is actually in Mexico treating upper middle or upper middle and upper middle class consumers. So it was a great way to provide a beautiful service to low income Hispanics in the U.S. who prefer to talk to Spanish speakers. Great idea right.


I thought it was and I thought it was a great idea but I ran into the buzz saw of you know the regulatory requirements U.S. it’s very difficult. The part of the population that I wanted to serve in the U.S. was low income Hispanics most of them on Medicaid. That’s a state federal government program. And they have very strict requirements about using actual resources. The bottom line here is despite the fact that we have a huge supply and demand problem in the U.S. there’s no supply for the growing population of Spanish speakers in the US who just want to talk to a doctor in a telemedicine type visit even though the huge demand in the U.S. but no supply, huge supply just across the border of Mexico that we could tap into as the requirements around regulations wouldn’t allow it. And so that idea might fail. Great idea but the lesson I drew from it was that great ideas are frequently all about timing. I still believe that at some point in the future we’re going to realize that it’s crazy not to allow Spanish speakers in the US to be able to talk to doctors who they want to talk to who they are comfortable with by tapping their phones. And that’s just across the border. The only thing separating us is as you know as the border that signals don’t recognize it. You can call it either. At some point in the future my idea I think will become somebody to make it work. Well it wasn’t me, I was too early. So it failed that idea but it taught me a lot about timing is everything. Almost everything.

That’s fascinating.

At a wrong time, still won’t work.

I love it. What a great story and a great lesson and also a very fine one that you tell it humorously and I’m sure its painful in your point.

It’s alright. Yeah.

But I think it’s great. I mean I love that you kind of left that open ended there because you know it is timing. Maybe one day it will work if we form some sort of form or group that I have to be accredited to be a part of and very well defined guidelines. I think there could be a way.

Well you know just as an example just like we can’t now use actual resources four or five years ago it was hard for companies in the U.S. to count television companies in different states across the country because of the state grants the medicine regulations that really you know made it hard for a doctor whose license in one state to serve other Americans in other states who want to talk to their doctor because he’s not licensed in their state. And so that’s good and slowly but surely no the law is changing. That’s a legacy issue from the way health care and medicine developed in the U.S. but slowly but surely technology is worsening the laws and the regulations that change. So you’re right Saul, eventually. First we’ll have to make it so that be easy to do telemedicine across the U.S. and maybe we’ll be okay with that they will be part of a new NAFTA right. we’ll be a little like getting paid or maybe renegotiate NAFTA some years.

Yes that’s that’s the way I think it should happen. I love that man. Yeah it’s interesting right. I mean a big part of what we do with the podcast Abner and listeners as you well now is just we connect silos and even like at the state level is just so siloed. Sharing best practices, talking about what could happen, is the way that things do happen. I think it’s great. So tell us back to the results right so you guys bring forth your cultural paradigm that you help your clients understand how to message, when to message, and then you do the translation which is kind of on the back end what are the results. Tell us about those results and maybe one are your most proud leadership experiences from those results.

Sure. So the key for what I described and how we work culture first, then content, then language, then the mode of communication. Anyone who hears that the first time since “sheez man that’s hard” and on a certain level it is right. And so what we know is that we can’t do that at scale without technology that the only way to do that at scale is so that we’re serving not a thousand people but more like 10 million people to build the technology that allows us that is small so our clients are typically man is Medicaid plans are provided with serving Medicaid populations are for profit but we do have a social mission very focused on trying to make sure that people at the low end of the income ladder get access to high quality health care. And so as we are building the technology that allows us to classroom and technology allows us to learn as we go. So what we give we get a client we start to do a deep dive into who that membership is whether it’s a group of patients or members of a plan. We micro segment we use publicly available data we use data from the clients health plan data. We put all that together and we develop what we call a community detailing. We implement community detailing process and we microsegment all of those members are patients into different groups based on some algorithms that we’ve developed and then we start to develop content messages for them based on what we’ve learned about where they come from, who they are, what they believe. We do a lot of AB testing initially to make sure we were getting it right and then we start to communicate with them. We have a lot of success with text messaging so the mobile environment is very powerful but it’s not text messaging as you think of it just affects. We can send the text message with a link to a PDF or a text message with a link to an audio file. We can do health risk assessments and other kinds of surveys via text message so the mobile environment is very powerful and every communication that we make is two way and it’s recorded and through machine learning and natural language processing we’re figuring out every time we interact with with a patient or member more about them so that we can then tailor the next method so that it is designed to connect with them even more. We’re trialing in effect use technology to create an experience for them a communication an exchange, a conversation that sounds like it’s a human being, and so doing that and we’re building you know early stage. You know we don’t have all the answers. We’re still building but we are finding that we get incredibly a good result. So for instance one of the big areas our clients care a lot about is pellicle quality measures like this in the Medicaid space. Under these measures, some example is babies from the time they’re born to the time they’re two years old maybe 10 vaccinations I guess required by Medicaid and we can’t give all the vaccinations at once, it takes a couple of visits. And so getting these multicultural populations these moms or dads who are responsible for the baby to understand they need to come in for these vaccinations and bring the baby up and get them to come in. It’s hard. And so that ends are required to get a certain percentage of these folks to come in and the plan doesn’t the Medicaid plan. They’re paralyzed and so they come to us and they say look help us reach out to these folks and so we use our platform and our understanding to reach out and we’re getting some cases with what we call never seen. We’re getting 60, 70% of people who are responding to us who….


Through all the other efforts by the plan previously they wouldn’t respond. So not only are we getting them to you know there’s a process here because these are low income people right there Medicaid. They struggle with life and so if you’re struggling to pay the rent keep a roof over your head a vaccination or immunization may not be your priority. And so we’ve got to figure out a way to convince that person. It’s important and then help lower the barriers to get them to come in. So we do everything in addition to explaining to them that they should come and build a trusted relationship so they’ll listen to us. So we sometimes we schedule the appointment. We do the appointment reminder. We actually just signed the deal with lift so that we’re going to be starting working with. So that is one of the barriers is transportation. We can incorporate that into our offerings so that we can get that person to the clinic. So our goal is to reduce the friction and to lower the barriers so that as we build a trusting relationship we can navigate that person and took care.

Love that. I think it’s great and kudos to you and your team for those results. It’s important. It’s a fragile population and hey for the plans they get to meet those objectives so why not partner with somebody that knows how to do it. And somebody from a plan listening to this or even a provider take into consideration the things that we’re talking about and ConsejoSano’s is a fantastic partner to consider. So with podcast notes you’ll be able to find everything there including a link. And best way to contact Abner just go to outcomesrocket.health/abner and you’ll find all that there. Getting close to the end here Abner, tell us about an exciting project that you’re focused on today.

Sure I’d say one is the lift partnership. We just announced that two weeks ago…

Yeah congrats on it.

It’s a great opportunity for us to demonstrate that a On-Demand, non-emergency transportation benefit incorporated into new Medicaid or Medicare Advantage offering can really drive better results. And so I’m really excited about that in part because I think a lot of people forget who are in leadership positions in health care. If you take a day off or you need to go to the doctor take a hit of the doctor not to get paid for hourly workers going in for preventive visit like a vaccination or well child is that you don’t get paid because you’re hourly and if you’re living paycheck to paycheck if you don’t have transportation for example and it takes two buses and that’s about an hour and have two hours to get there then you’re at the doctor an hour and then two hours to get back. You’re talking five hours. That person that mama, that dad, that grandmother whoever’s responsible for the child, it’s not that they don’t care about the child. They’re just trying to balance. If I take five hours off, number one I might get fired. Number two you know get fired. I can’t make the rent I can’t buy food. If we could make that five hour visit more like two hours because the lift on demand transportation benefit we can get that mom to the doctor in 30 minutes or less appointments an hour and get her back two hours. She then makes a calculation that we will all make a financial thing I can afford to take two hours off where I’m allowed I’m going to get fired but I can’t take five or six years. So what it does is it drives this is that it’s good for the clinic because the clinics labs you don’t like no shows and of her maybe she had a ride and fell through or whatever. If we can have it in the moment. Well I mean this is what got. Using new technology these new offerings like Lift’s which has an on demand service it can be there in five minutes. Not the old transportation benefit where you had the do you have scheduled weekend as they entered and they came around you and five other people. That’s not what people want.

What do they want?

So I’m really excited. I’m grateful to lift. I think they are thinking really smartly about you know how they can use their amazing company they built the service, they built to improve health outcomes for low income people. So I’m excited about that part.

That’s awesome. Congratulations. I know Lift is working really hard to up their health care efforts and thanks to partners like you who are in the thick of it and be able to make it easier for people that actually need it. So congratulations on that.

Yeah. Thank you. We’re excited about it.

Abner so this part of the podcast is right before we conclude we build leadership course. What it takes to be successful in the business of medicine, the one on one of Abner. And so I’ve got four questions lightning round style for you followed by a book that you recommend to the listeners. You ready?


All right. What’s the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

To make sure that solutions are designed to meet the needs of all patients not just some.

What’s the biggest mistake or a pitfall to avoid?

I think that technology alone will solve problems in health care. There always has to be a human component there. And if you forget that it’s a mistake.

Love that. How do you stay relevant despite constant change?

I think you really have to have a pulse on innovation in your space. It’s not enough just to be doing good today because disruption comes fast and furious. And so you need to be you know using current things well but you’ve got to have your thumb on what’s happening in your space in terms of innovation, who’s innovating, who’s got new ideas, and you should be testing them all with trying new things.

Love it. What’s one area of focus that drives everything in a health organization or at least your organization?

I think outcomes I think we’ve got to have to get away from the idea that efforts are important. The truth is in health care what really matters are outcomes and we sometimes confuse efforts with results. Maybe I should a policeman. We should not confuse efforts with results. We need to focus on results which means health care outcomes and no matter what the efforts are if they are producing the results of the outcomes we want. We’ve got to switch it up.

Amen and what book would you recommend Abner?

It’s an old book but it was important to me by a philosopher Karl Popper. He was a philosopher of science. The guy is called Conjectures and Refutations and it’s a great book that teaches a lot about humility in science and I think that’s a good thing to learn about.

Outstanding what a great book recommendation and how about any favorite podcasts if not…


Thank you. I appreciate that. But any other ones that stick out or just stick with the book.

I’ll stick with the book and your podcast.

You’re too kind, you’re too kind. Appreciate that. Folks for links to all the things that Abner has shared with us including a link to ConsejoSano. All the things that they offer their solutions the latest events that they’ve got going on. Go to outcomesrocket.health/abner and you’re going to find that along with the full transcript of our conversation today. So Abner this has been a ton of fun. I love if you could just share a closing thought. And then the best place for the listeners could get in touch with you.

Sure here is my e-mail. It’s abner.mason@consejosano.com and Im sure you can put it up on your…


And closing remark is just thank you, Saul for allowing people like me to share our thoughts. I think you’re right that we can learn a lot from each other. We take the time and we now have news like podcasts that allow us to supplement and listen to other people’s stories about people’s experiences and we can learn from them. So this is a lot of fun. I think it’s important work too Saul, thank you for doing it.

Hey it’s a pleasure Abner and appreciate all that you and your team are doing to make health care better and improve access. Keep up the awesome work.

Great. Thanks a lot.

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