CHICAGO, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Zing Health, a physician-led, tech-enabled Medicare Advantage plan, today named Ananth Ramkrishnan chief technology officer. With over 25 years of leadership developing and implementing innovative technology systems for some of the nation's leading healthcare providers, Ramkrishnan is ideal for Zing's CTO role given its focus on improving community health for underserved populations in the Midwest.
Ramkrishnan has significant experience developing pioneering technology systems to support clinical, financial and strategic healthcare services that must be seamlessly integrated with organizational benchmarks and goals. He has a deep understanding of industry issues and is focused on action-oriented and creative approaches to solving technology problems—a must given Zing Health's special needs as a tech-enabled Medicare Advantage plan that works in the community to make sure members get the right care at the right time.
"Underserved populations face chronic conditions that put them at higher risk for severe illness and death—a reality that is exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis," said Dr. Eric Whitaker, Zing Health co-founder and CEO. "Ananth has proven experience designing and building innovative, laser-focused service delivery systems that make doctors more productive and enable health practitioners to better care for those in greatest need. His expertise makes him the ideal fit for our company and will enable Zing Health to better address persistent inequities in health care at this critical time."
Ramkrishnan added, "The Zing Health team shares my passion for using health information technology to show doctors in the exam room what patients experience in the community. I'm looking forward to using this approach at scale across a Medicare Advantage plan, not only to bring chronic care closer to patients but also to improve preventive care for all Medicare beneficiaries."
Health Information Technology Supports Efficient and Effective Care
As a Medicare Advantage plan with an expanded network of primary care physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners, community health workers and behavioral health specialists, Zing Health offers its members access to local field care teams focused on understanding their unique needs as well as medical providers in hospitals, medical offices and in-home settings. By reaching beyond the clinical setting, field workers can respond to the financial concerns, health behaviors and physical setting of each patient.
The breadth of Zing Health's care network makes advanced technology critical to its approach. Healthcare practitioners need secure access to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and dependable, state-of-the-art systems to coordinate and enable virtual consultations and office visits.
Ramkrishnan's Technology Role Key to Improving Community Health
Before joining Zing Health, Ramkrishnan spent six years as chief technology officer at Landmark Health, which provides in-home medical services for at-risk patients. While there, he developed and maintained a groundbreaking custom EMR system to support home visits, telehealth sessions and a mobile app for older adults with chronic illnesses or special needs. This platform has enabled Landmark's medical providers, nurses and social workers to excel at managing out-of-office health care for complex, chronically ill patients in 46 U.S. communities.
Previously, Ramkrishnan spent more than two decades at XLHealth's HouseCalls unit, expanding the Medicare provider's pioneering solution to offer beneficiaries post-hospital discharge in-home visits. RAND Corp. researchers found HouseCalls patients had 14% fewer hospitalizations and less risk of needing nursing home care. Ramkrishnan expanded the service nationwide during his tenure at UnitedHealth Group when the company acquired XLHealth in 2012.
Midwest Rollout Targets Underserved Populations
As a portfolio company of the American Medical Association's Health 2047 initiative, Zing Health is a physician-led enterprise to lower healthcare costs through innovative, data-informed practices. In March 2020, Newlight Partners, a private investment firm, made a significant equity investment that will allow Zing Health to expand beyond Chicago and Cook Country to other Midwestern metropolitan areas and maintain its focus on populations underserved by traditional health insurance models.
Zing Health's experts work in the community to create individual treatment plans, answer members' questions and make sure they're getting the right care at the right time. Every member's care team includes not only the medical provider but also a nurse, behavioral health specialist and community health worker and access to a 24-hour nurse advice line and telehealth video services.
This holistic approach allows Zing Health's field teams to address social determinants of health such as housing quality, food availability, access to transportation and racial and gender inequality—for example, making house calls to identify asthma triggers or partnering with community organizations and clinics to connect members to lower-cost or overlooked local services. The robust and integrated services Zing Health provides are sustained by its inventive, tech-enabled platform that lets all team members and stakeholders work together.
About Zing Health Zing Health Holdings, Inc. is a tech-enabled insurance company making Medicare Advantage the best it can be for those 65 and over. Zing Health has a community-based approach that recognizes the importance of the social determinants of health in keeping individuals and communities healthy. Zing Health aims to return the physician and the member to the center of the healthcare equation. Members receive individualized assistance to make their transition to Zing Health as easy as possible. Zing Health offers members the ability to personalize their plans, access to facilities designed to help them better meet their healthcare needs and a dedicated care team. For more information on Zing Health, visit www.myzinghealth.com.
About Newlight Partners LP Newlight Partners LP is a private investment firm focused on collaborating with management teams and strategic investors to build unique, durable businesses, predominantly in North America. For more than 15 years, the Newlight team has helped build successful enterprises in five sectors, including financial services, telecommunications, power and renewable energy, healthcare services and business services. Led by David Wassong and Ravi Yadav, the Newlight team has invested approximately $6 billion in over 100 investments since 2005, first as the Strategic Investments Group at Soros Fund Management LLC (Soros), and now as Newlight after the team's spinout from Soros in 2018. Newlight has approximately $4 billion in capital commitments and assets under management.