Delivering person-centered high quality diabetes care to high-risk individuals with diabetes is no easy task in our current complicated health environment. We are excited to share our interview with Dr. Avni Shah, Founder of Vayu Health, and her vision to provide equitable diabetes care delivery for our most vulnerable populations. Dr. Shah and her team are proposing a radical new equity focused-approach to diabetes care. To learn more, read our interview below.
“Our vision is to transform the lives of under served Medicaid members living with multiple chronic conditions, behavioral health needs, and social determinants of health (SDOH) through a team-based approach to care that places people at the center of decisions about their own health. We are passionately driven to improve health, equity, and experiences for every person we work with, while also lowering costs,” said Dr. Avni Shah.
Dr. Shah says their care model is rooted in trusting relationships with patients, and also with the providers, community partners and health plans that they work with. To sustain vibrant, patient-centered programs they are designing a payment model that rewards their care team for doing the right thing at the right time for these vulnerable populations.
They believe that a major shift is needed in the way care is delivered for under resourced people living with chronic conditions, especially sub optimally managed diabetes, and are currently looking to build out their clinical team, including a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
1. What motivated you to leave a traditional work setting as a Peds Endo and take the risk to create a new health care model for Medicaid members living with diabetes?
2. What do you consider the biggest shortcomings in our current approach to providing diabetes care?
3. Describe your future vision and model of diabetes care provision.
We believe that it is past time for a seismic change in chronic care management, especially for diabetes. Our primary-care based model is what is needed right now for people with diabetes and will include the following key components:
4. Do you have a favorite quote?
I have many quotes I love, but none that are a favorite. So here are a few:
Vayu Health was started by physicians who work extensively with adults and children with not only diabetes, but other chronic conditions, behavioral health issues and social risk factors. Vayu’s team recognized that despite best efforts of providers and patients, of new drugs and technologies, and of increased spending, population health outcomes have not improved significantly over the last 20 years for individuals living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, especially for those with low incomes. COVID-19 has only intensified the call for change as it has disproportionately impacted individuals already marginalized by our healthcare system failures.
To address this urgent crisis, fundamental change in the healthcare system is needed and Vayu Health is poised to create this change.
Identifying System Failures and Building Solutions
To successfully build their model, Vayu first identified the healthcare system failures, cataloging the barriers to people with diabetes receiving the right care. They identified four key barriers that needed to be addressed:
Vayu Health’s Innovative Model
Vayu Health is taking on each of these systemic barriers, and addressing them in a cohesive, person-centered care model. As Medicaid members disproportionately experience care failures, Vayu is focusing on Medicaid managed care patients, living with diabetes and other chronic conditions.
They are collaborating with one of California’s largest Medicaid managed care health plans and a California community health center to develop and integrate Vayu Health’s unique systems approach, including a new value-based payment that will incentivize doing the right thing at the right time for patients. This collaboration is the first step in a systematic shift in the way community primary care providers and patients experience care and the way that Medicaid managed health plans cover the costs.
In addition to the best practice chronic condition care model, a healthcare ecosystem will be developed which will incorporate the following system elements:
Equity-focused start-up is looking for innovators to launch a new diabetes care model:
Vayu Health is a California non-profit set to launch a completely different care model for people with diabetes living in under served communities, and is looking for like-minded people passionate about equity, person-centered care, and reducing barriers to accessing high-caliber diabetes care.
If you love working in an innovative team environment, are excited by participating in creative programming for patients, and are an independent thinker and self-starter, this just might be the perfect opportunity for you.
The Vayu Team is looking for a CDCES and LCSW
The team is made up of people that are excited about building something new, and every team member regardless of role has a voice in creating the company. Vayu believes passionately in reducing barriers to care for vulnerable populations, and has a strong focus on equity. The care team includes local community coaches, certified diabetes educators, licensed clinical social workers, and community clinic physicians. With this multidisciplinary team, care delivery will be a combination of coordinated, proactive in-person and virtual care, delivered when and where the patient needs it.
Vayu has the commitment of the community clinic and Medicaid healthcare plan, as well as national experts in diabetes care, Medicaid managed care healthcare payment reform, and chronic care system design and optimization.
This is an incredible opportunity to join a dynamic mission-driven company with visionary leadership and a bold and inclusive culture. Interested people should directly contact Margie (firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-225-4787).
Can’t make it live? All paid registrants are guaranteed access to the video presentation, handouts and podcasts.
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