Catherine Olexa-Meadors: Making ‘Herstory’ in Health Care This Women's History Month
We celebrate all women at both Aledade and Aledade Care Solutions every day of the year. And in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re taking some time to spotlight three trailblazing Aledaders who are truly making “herstory” in health care. Get to know our second amazing woman below. (And click here to read Jo Green’s story.)
Catherine Olexa-Meadors is Senior Vice President of Innovation and Partnerships for Aledade Care Solutions.
“Our job - with my job playing a large part - is to source, test and scale effective new patient-facing care interventions that support primary care in their value-based journey,” she says. “Bottom line, we understand there’s a real ceiling to what a primary care practice can individually take on in a given day or week for any given patient population. There are impactful solutions out there who can support them, from start-ups to more established companies. At Aledade Care Solutions, we use advanced analytics and apply those models to triangulate which patients would benefit the most from any given solution. Simply put: we’re here to help find the most supportive and effective interventions to keep all patients healthier and at home.”
Catherine began her career as a Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facility Administrator - and that experience continues to shape who she is as a person and a professional to this day.
“I saw firsthand how patients and families are not often supported well in our health care system as they travel from one care setting to the next. And before the value-based care movement, there wasn’t any real incentive to change that. I was as guilty as anyone of this, as I thought of our patient and family experiences very narrowly - while they were under the care of the facility and not beyond.”
She went on to implement the first bundled payment program released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement program, and created a national strategy to support transitions of care for patients between hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and home.
In early 2018, Catherine met Farzad Mostashari, Co-Founder and CEO of Aledade - and they discussed the opportunity in different value-based care models. “His thesis was so compelling to me. Giving the hospital or specialists more responsibility and a more longitudinal view (i.e., bundled payments) was good, but empowering primary care doctors in accountable care organizations to proactively manage the care for their patients and keep them out of the hospital was the much bigger opportunity to impact patients' lives.” She joined Aledade shortly thereafter, thrilled to support that mission.
“When I think about the impact I’m focused on in health care, the theme is clear: Work to prevent patients from falling through the cracks. Our system is confusing and complex, and not everyone has a family member who can do all the research for them and join them for every appointment and take notes. The system itself needs to be more supportive, and not rely on any given individual to get a Master’s degree in navigating it, because that’s essentially what it’s taken up to this point. We need to seize the opportunity to leverage the economic incentive of value-based care - ensuring primary care physicians are not just getting paid to see more patients, but to be the quarterback of their patients’ care over time.”
For Catherine, International Women’s Day and Women's History Month create an opportunity for all of us to reflect. “Something I’ve been so grateful for in my career is the generational progress I have benefitted from. As I was coming up through the workforce, I saw my female mentors and just how much it took out of them to get to where they were. I appreciate everything they did to break barriers and normalize women in leadership, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their efforts. I am humbled by the opportunity to both build on those efforts and tackle some of the most complex problems facing our health care system, often alongside other amazing women.”