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Innovation in Value Based Care Pricing and Models
Episode 668

Tsahia Hobson, Founder & CEO, Tsahia & Co.

Innovation in Value Based Care Pricing and Models

In this episode, we are privileged to have Tsahia Hobson. She is the Founder and CEO at Tsahia & Co. Tsahia discussed how her company provides strategic advisory services and value-based care and empowered reimbursement for pre-see and seed-stage digital health startups. She also talked about  Black Health Tech Founders: The List, a database of 70+ digital health companies founded by black people. The list was launched in response to her growing frustration of not seeing black founders being highlighted in the digital health ecosystem. 

Tsahia is passionate about innovations that are happening in the digital health ecosystem and advancing diversity especially in venture capital and with founders.

If you are  pre seed or seed round company, this podcast could be of great help to you. Please tune and enjoy!

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Innovation in Value Based Care Pricing and Models

Episode 668

About Tsahia Hobson

Tsahia is a health care innovator and a leader with more than 15 years of experience in program management, health management and business development. She is also the Founder and CEO at Tsahia & Co. 

Tsahia was a startup judge for Columbia University’s Venture Competition 2020 Startup Challenge. She was also a guest speaker for the Beckers annual CIO conference for a topic she presented – Women’s Leadership and Diversity in Health and Health IT. In her former role at Blue Shield of California. So he had designed innovative and disruptive solutions to transform patient care and physician reimbursement. Currently, she’s also partnering with the Columbia University Venture Community and Alumnus Run Investment Club to review diverse health founder pitches and incorporate value-based care and racial equity in the digital health financial models.

Innovation in Value Based Care Pricing and Models with Tsahia Hobson, Founder & CEO, Tsahia & Co. transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Innovation in Value Based Care Pricing and Models with Tsahia Hobson, Founder & CEO, Tsahia & Co. was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez here. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Tsahia Hobson. She is a health care innovator and a leader with more than 15 years of experience in program management, health management and business development. In 2020 October, she launched Tsahia & Co. To provide strategic advisory services and value-based care and empowered reimbursement for pre-see and seed-stage digital health startups. On her company’s website Tsahia.com, she writes about issues in the health industry recently, Tsahia launched Black Health Tech Founders The List, a database of 70 plus digital health companies founded by black people. The list was launched in response to her growing frustration of not seeing black founders being highlighted in the digital health ecosystem. This effort that she has started has the goal of increasing funding by five times for black health tech founders through her work in the venture health care capital ecosystem. In addition, Tsahia was a startup judge for Columbia University’s Venture Competition 20 20 Startup Challenge. She was also a guest speaker for the Beckers annual CIO conference for a topic she presented – Women’s Leadership and Diversity in Health and Health IT. In her former role at Blue Shield of California. So he had designed innovative and disruptive solutions to transform patient care and physician reimbursement. Currently, she’s also partnering with the Columbia University Venture Community and Alumnus Run Investment Club to review diverse health founder pitches and incorporate value-based care and racial equity in the digital health financial models. Tsahia, such a privilege to have you here. I love the work that you’re doing to raise awareness and the voice of really black health tech founders and really all the work that you’re doing. So really appreciate the opportunity to have you here on the podcast today.

Tsahia Hobson:
Well, thank you. I’m really excited to be here and I’m just really looking forward to speaking about all of this work and just all of this kind of inspiring things that are going on in health care today.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. You know, and so before we go into what you’re up to with the company, talk to us a little bit about what inspires your work in health care.

Tsahia Hobson:
Sure. I have to say people first and foremost really inspire my work in health care. I love being around just really smart people. When I started my career at Columbia University Medical Center, I was working in the division of neonatology and I used to work with some of these amazing doctors and nurses. But, you know, some of the doctors, I mean, they were performing open-heart surgery on premature babies. And I was just amazed by that. And I found just that being really inspiring. And that led me to continue a career in health care, because around that time, too, I thought that maybe I would become a banker, but I got a little sidelined or sidetracked, rather, and landed in health care. But I think just doing some of the work that I have over my career at Columbia University and improving outcomes for patient care, improving revenue and business processes, that’s been really exciting. And also kind of in this new phase of my career, as you mentioned, starting my own company Tsahia & Co. And providing advisory services to digital health startups. I just love the energy that startups have. And I’m really just passionate about advancing diversity and really continuing to tackle some of these very hard challenges that we face in health care still.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s great. And I think it’s so cool that you started your own list. You’re like, you know what? There’s no list. I’m going to make one. I think it’s so great. So as you embark on the work that you’re doing with your new business. Talk to us about how you plan on adding value to the health care ecosystem and more about your work there.

Tsahia Hobson:
Sure. Well, there are a couple of things. So as you mentioned, the list and just a little context about that. After everything that we’ve gone through over the summer. And I think just thinking back in my career about the times when people would honestly they would ask me and say, now, do you know any black physicians? And I’d go know. I don’t know. Or maybe I can find one for you. And or I had also been increasingly concerned with some of the disparities that I was seeing. Number one, through COVID, of course, also maternal mortality. And I knew that problems I think, are best solved sometimes by the people who are living them, and I really just knew, I said being in this kind of digital health ecosystem, this venture capital ecosystem, where are these founders? And so I just literally scoured the Internet looking for all of the founders that I could find who are black in digital health, put them together in a list to say, like, if you’re looking for different resources or if you’re a venture capital fund as they’ve committed more to diversity, here’s a list of companies I think are worthwhile that you should invest in. That’s one part of the work. The other part is I’ve been working with another company called Ready Health, who the CEO is a good friend of mine, Maria Gill.

Tsahia Hobson:
We both went to Columbia together and did our master’s in health administration. And she’s amazing. And she’s been really trying to tackle some big problems and gaps in home health care as well as telemedicine. And so I think that there are some incredible opportunities that are coming from that venture as well. And I guess lastly for me, some of the other work that I’ve been doing is just learning much more about the venture capital ecosystem. And so what’s been really great is I’ve been a part of the very first cohort from Black Venture Institute, which aims to increase the number of black people working in venture capital. And so it’s been an amazing group to work with. And so I hope to combine that lens, plus the digital health strategic advisory and really be able to provide some great assistance and teachings to new companies.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. Yeah, you know, and it’s great to have somebody like you available to some of these new startups that don’t really understand the fundamental workings of reimbursement or getting that strategy together that payers are going to support and get behind. What would you say makes you different and unique to compare to what’s available today?

Tsahia Hobson:
Yeah, so I think what makes me different is I’ve had a lot of experience in the health care industry and I have come out of an academic medical center at Columbia. I’ve done work with the New York State Psychiatric Institute. I’ve also done consulting through the School of Public Health, now doing my own consulting, but also coming from the payer side. And I think something that is maybe a bit unique that I’m trying to offer is that I’m trying to target seed and pre-seed companies because I really want them to be prepared when they go into the meetings with payers and have a better understanding of how they can position themselves for success. And as I mentioned, I think I also am very just passionate about advancing diversity. And so I really want to use different sort of my lens, right, of advancing diversity and build it into models as it can. And that includes things like thinking about social determinants of health or people who have Medicaid as insurance or the uninsured population Right.. I really want to encourage companies and founders to think about those groups, because as you may know, a lot of times when startups are going to payers, they’re looking at commercially insured PPO. And I think that there’s a large part of the country who uses Medicaid as insurance, who are underinsured or uninsured. And I think now, even with a new administration, I think there’s tremendous opportunity there so that I think will kind of help differentiate me in the market.

Saul Marquez:
And so you bring up some great points and things that people should be considering if they’re in that seat or pre-seed round. In your view, say here, what would you say is a setback that people need to be aware of, that they don’t fall into maybe a key learning that you’ve seen through others that have done this or an example that that comes to mind would be awesome.

Tsahia Hobson:
Yeah. So one that really comes to mind and I kind of learned this through my experience at a pair as well as at an academic medical center is the sales cycle. It is long sometimes. And I think that a lot of startups want to focus on getting to the big payers, getting to these large companies. But what they don’t realize is that sometimes it can take up to a year before you even sign a term sheet, right. And what does that mean? That means you have to have funding coming from some other place, whether it’s venture capital, whether you’re bootstrapping it, and you’re almost having to kind of dedicate these time and resources of your key people to these large companies for a year period. And you might not walk out with a contract Right.. And even if you do get to the point of a term sheet, it might take, let’s say, another six months before you can even begin to implement a program. And so I think that is one of the key learnings that I take away. And I tell startups to sometimes be prepared for that longer sales cycle. And I think the way sometimes you make you might get around some of that is to really understand your financing and also to look at alternative sources of financing. And so that’s some of the things that I talk to them about because I just want people to be prepared like you’re not going to go in and propose something like let’s take care of all your GI patients and then you’ll get a contract within a month. It doesn’t work that way. You have to show outcome. You have to be prepared for that sale cycle. So that’s definitely a key takeaway.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s certainly not a fast-paced sales cycle. So Tsahia, there’s definitely lots to learn. And as you think about the environment that we’re in, we’re still dealing with this pandemic. Got a new administration. What are you most excited about today?

Tsahia Hobson:
Well, honestly, I’m so hopeful. I really am. And I think that, number one, I want some kind of normalcy. I want a COVID plan, I just posted an article this morning on LinkedIn that Pfizer is saying that they’re having a 90 percent success rate with their COVID vaccine. I mean, I think that’s incredible. But I’m also very cautious in the sense that I want people to have access to the vaccine and actually not just access, but I want the vaccine to be affordable and accessible to everyone who needs it. And so I’m hopeful that we will have a COVID sort of strategy and get back to some kind of just living our normal lives without being in fear of this disease. But I think in that context, too, I’m excited for digital health and more remote care. I think there are a number of remote readiness plans that are coming out. So, for example, just driving more care to the home and more convenient care being able to get your medications when you need them or being able to have a virtual health plan. I think Kaiser just announced that they’ve created a virtual care primary care plan that would be less expensive than their regular I don’t know, we can call them brick and mortar plans. And so I’m excited about that because I think it will promote better outcomes, but also be affordable to people who really need it, whether it’s just price or price and convenience.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s I didn’t know about that. That’s really interesting. And for a long time, at least through this whole pandemic since March, there’s been a lot of discussion around payor parity on this, virtually provided service. And on the one hand, I get it, a hospital doesn’t want to lose revenues. On the other hand, it’s not the same. So I think it’s really interesting that Kaiser is offering a lower-cost alternative for virtual care. I think that’s the right way.

Tsahia Hobson:
Yeah. And I was also in touch with another company that offers monthly virtual primary care plans for primary care, but as well as mental health. I actually think that my theory is that the role of the payer is going to change pretty dramatically because I think we will get plans that are less expensive. But I think we might be paying a little bit more out of pocket for certain specific services. So, for example, maybe a virtual care plan that’s very basic with possibly some catastrophic care is fine for me. If I had GI and then maybe I can get this supplemental kind of GI specific telehealth plan to manage that care. And I think we might start to see some things like that where consumers are doing a little bit more picking and choosing based on the conditions that they have, instead of sort of buying what is supposedly a one size fits all insurance plan. So I’m actually kind of excited about that.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, me too. And just different models right that we can take a look at to better fit different people and different times with different conditions. Like there isn’t a one size fits all and the system we’re dealing with right now is is not optimized and so plenty of opportunity for us to do better. This has been a really neat discussion with you to hear. I’ve enjoyed it. I’m sure the listeners have to. If somebody’s listening to this podcast wants to connect with you, say they’re one of the pre-seed or seed round companies that you have found as your sweet spot. What’s the best way for them to get in touch with you? And then what closing thought would you leave us with?

Tsahia Hobson:
Sure. So I think my mother gave me a very unique name. So if you Google Tsahia, you can always find me. But my website is Tsahia.com. I can also I like to interact with people on Twitter and you can also connect with me on LinkedIn. So I’m pretty flexible in those areas. But yeah, no thank you for that. I think in terms of closing thoughts, I would just say it’s really been a pleasure speaking with you today and I just want people to be hopeful about the future and be excited, as I am about all of the innovation that’s happening in the digital health ecosystem. And I am just excited about advancing diversity, especially diversity in venture capital and with founders. So that, I think is very promising. And I just hope that it continues.

Saul Marquez:
Well with you doing what you’re doing Tsahia I have no doubt. And so I know you’re. Really the beginning of this part of your journey, and we’re grateful that you chose to have a stop here on the Outcomes Rocket with our listeners and we’ll be rooting for you on this venture that you’re on to have these voices that are less heard be heard. And because it will make a difference for how we deliver care, for how we do health care. So big thanks to you and definitely looking forward to staying in touch.

Tsahia Hobson:
Thank you. Please do keep in touch.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners, Saul Marquez here, I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization, and achieving the ROI you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with the professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit smoothpodcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • Healthcare is not a fast-paced sales cycle. 
  • There isn’t a one-size-fits-all health insurance because people and conditions are different.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to do better.

 

Resources

https://www.tsahia.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tsahiahobson/