Meet the Team: Q&A with Chris Pilkington
Chris Pilkington recently joined our team as the Chief Strategy Officer. Learn more about his deep experience in healthcare and what brought him to Current Health.
What was your background prior to joining the Current Health team?
I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working with many types of organizations in government and commercial healthcare—payers, providers, consumer advocacy, digital health startups, large HITs, and venture investors. Most of my focus has been in applied innovation—using tech-enabled services to support new delivery models at scale.
My recent work has included building platforms to support value-based payment, social determinants connectivity, remote care, analytics, and community services for complex Medicaid/Medicare populations, helping investors and management hone market strategy and revenue models in an evolving COVID and post-COVID era.
Why did you choose Current Health?
Doing innovation at any speed in heavily-regulated industries like U.S. healthcare is really, really hard. You can typically measure the pace of innovation in decades versus months or years. There are brief moments in time, however, when innovation can gain momentum, when we see true breakthroughs in technology, or disruptive shifts in the flow of funds. We saw one such innovation window open in the 2010’s when Medicare and some state Medicaid agencies adopted commercial innovations in value-based payments, unleashing a new generation of ways to buy and sell healthcare.
Today, in 2021, we have another breakthrough moment. COVID forced our industry to prove that much “facility-level” care could indeed be delivered safely and responsibly in consumers’ homes. Whether acute, skilled nursing, or groundbreaking clinical trials, we have seen the window opening to transform the 20-30% of US healthcare spend that is locked-up in bricks-and-mortar institutions. Current Health is at the forefront of enabling safe, high-quality care in consumers’ homes, and doing it well, and I was so happy to join this mission.
What are your primary objectives at Current Health?
Current Health is not just in the care-at-home technology platform business—we’re in the business of helping healthcare professionals and organizations change the way they do what they love. The switch to delivering more healthcare in the home, especially for higher acuity patients, requires new operations, policies, partners, payment methods, and tools. And practical resources in this space are thin. The industry will need practical, easy-to-use guidance to help navigate this transition. Whether that means authoring clinical pathways and operational playbooks, guidance in scaling the enterprise, or negotiating new financial models, we will be that partner.
What challenges are you helping Current Health navigate in the industry right now?
After almost 20 months of pandemic, and the long tail of endemic COVID still ahead, consumers, families, and the healthcare industry overall are exhausted. Although COVID unleashed necessity-driven innovation, fatigue, especially change fatigue, is already a drag on transformation. This challenge makes it absolutely crucial that Current Health’s solutions be intuitive and compelling—helping to reduce complexity at every turn.
I’m also focused on the economic challenges our clients are facing, including unlocking payment models that follow the patient, and navigating the industry-wide labor shortage while caring for an aging population.
As the digital health space evolves, what is something you think will be critical for companies like Current Health to keep in mind?
Tech is a great enabler, but equity and inclusion can also be an ironic challenge for digital health.
With every new “virtual first” innovation and “digital front door,” there’s a consumer who can’t or won’t walk through that door due to connectivity, language, literacy, ability, or fear. Moving complex care closer to communities is a wonderful trend, but the industry has lots of work ahead in keeping high-touch human interaction and community-based human services a key part of the delivery mix, including food security, companionship, counseling and child care. Current Health has a track record here, and exciting plans ahead.