Q&A Part 2: Cambia Featured in Portland Monthly “Faces of Health Innovation”

March 21, 2019

From left to right: Faraz Shafiq, Brian Finn, Dee Cruz, Meg Dryer, Matt Koehler, and Mohan Nair drive consumer-focused health care innovation in their respective areas.

In part two of our series, we interview Cambia leaders, who were recently featured in Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Faces of Health Innovation”—highlighting some of Cambia’s leaders who are driving health care transformation through artificial intelligence, human-centered design, product innovation, and consumer focus. We asked our leaders to share what projects they’re currently working on and how their personal health stories have inspired consumer health solutions.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read part one of this series Q&A Part 1: Cambia Featured in Portland Monthly ‘Faces of Health Innovation.’”

Meg Dryer, VP of Consumer Experience

Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers? 
I lead the Experience Design team at Cambia, which researches and builds experiences for consumers. Our team includes UX/UI design, research, visual design, service design and design strategy. We interview and follow people through their health care journeys and develop insights from these encounters. With those insights, we brainstorm potential solutions, prototype them, and take them back to consumers for real-time feedback. For us, Consumers and all they encompass—their lives, their opinions, their pains, hopes and dreams—are at the center of everything we do.  

Right now, we are working on further streamlining the patient engagement process for our members. This work was a major interdisciplinary undertaking, involving several different areas across Cambia.

How has your health care story inspired you to transform health care?
Everything from my own near-death experience in a foreign country, to a parent with cancer, to giving birth to my youngest son who was born with a rare condition, are all things that have inspired me to make health care more human.

I came to health care to help make our experiences more human. One that gives you reassurance and emotional support, not just clinical advice. I want to be a part of something that recognizes that health is so much more than physical. It’s emotional. It’s social. It’s financial. It’s everything. And so it’s about connection – human connection – as much as it is medicine.

Faraz Shafiq, Cambia Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers? 
I serve as Cambia’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Officer. In this role, I lead Cambia’s AI and Data organization, which consists of: AI and data engineering, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data governance, and data science.

Offering relevant, personalized, and actionable insights to our consumers is a key differentiator we are creating through AI. For example, helping consumers (or their loved ones) navigate their health journey path by predicting and offering options in the context of the condition they are facing. By identifying the most likely sequence(s) of care paths, the most relevant options can be provided in context, enabling a more streamlined care experience.

How has your health care story inspired you to transform health care?
Having a son with special needs, my family engages heavily in the health care system. We have found that even “simple” navigation is hard. I want to make a difference in how health care works and helps families.

Brian Finn, Cambia Vice President of Group and Member Administration

Can you share an example of one innovation you and your team are working on to make health care better for consumers? 
I lead the Group and Member Administration team within the health plan. Our mission is to enable groups and members to simply, quickly, and confidently access their care in a cost-effective way. We do that by ensuring groups are processed and updated within the various systems and programs Cambia offers through the onboarding process. The biggest single point of innovation is what we call eGMA. Essentially it is an interactive way of completing the quoting, purchasing and onboarding process for our groups (1 – 50) and loading that information into our claims system. This process significantly improves the accuracy of information, simplifies the application process for groups and brokers and ultimately ensures that on the effective date chosen, our groups and members are ready to begin utilizing the plan. We rolled out eGMA in the second half of 2017 and made improvements throughout 2018. We are expanding the use of it to improve the experience in 2019 and 2020 to other group sizes. 

How has your health care story inspired you to transform health care?
Sports injuries, mine and my kids, have been the primary source of care. A few years ago, my son complained of chest pains. During the health exam and we were told he may have a heart condition. Ultimately, he was cleared to play and is healthy, however, I was struck by the focus on his condition and not on him holistically, as an athlete, a son and a person.

Fast forward a few years and I am now helping my parents navigate the health system. Both are in their 80s, extremely independent and have health issues. Trying to help them navigate the system leaves me with a similar feeling that the system is set up to treat conditions not people. People are what it is all about. The work Cambia is doing to allow people to keep their independence, dignity and allow them to own their health care journey is inspiring and something we all have a huge role to play.   

To read more about Portland Monthly Magazine’s “Faces of Health Innovation” visit the “Faces of Portland” series.