Dr. Mona Siddiqui says she loves solving problems at the intersection of health policy, strategy, data and operations. After earning a medical degree from Johns Hopkins, a master’s in public health with a focus on quantitative methods and data analysis from Harvard, and a master’s in engineering from Stanford, Mona has dedicated her career towards using this unique skillset to improve healthcare.
She served as a resident at George Washington University Hospital, Innovator-in-Residence at CMMI, and a member of the White House National Science and Technology Council, among other prominent roles. She also became the first ever Chief Data Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services where she led the effort to connect the nation’s health care data through a new technology infrastructure, organizational management of data as an asset, and an enterprise training program for data science and AI. In her current role as SVP of enterprise clinical strategy and quality at Humana, she’s applying the vast knowledge and experience she’s gained towards one main objective: creating a better consumer experience in healthcare.
During her conversation with Keith Figlioli on this episode of Healthcare is Hard, Mona shared her thoughts on several timely topics including:
- The critical, yet unglamorous work of organizing data. Mona recounts how she experienced the pain of not having access to the right information at the right time throughout her career and in her initial role at HHS where she was tasked with thinking about new solutions in the opioid epidemic. She and her team realized the enormous amount of disconnected data at other government organizations such as the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor, and began integrating it to develop a new and unique lens into the challenges they faced. She talks about how infrastructure issues like this are not glamorous, but create incredible opportunities to make a meaningful and lasting impact.
- Humana’s evolution into a healthcare company. Over the past few years, Humana has forged partnerships with providers like Oak Street and Iora Health, acquired organizations including Kindred, the nation’s largest provider of at-home healthcare services, and grown many other new initiatives organically. As its track record demonstrates, Humana is considering all options in its transition to a “payvider” and remaining focused on the key objective of creating better consumer experiences and improving healthcare outcomes. Mona discusses how this long-term evolution is still in progress, while notably referring to Humana now as a “healthcare company.”
- Connecting in-person and digital experiences. With the digital transformation of healthcare, and especially advancements made over the past two years, technology is now an inherent part of consumer experiences in healthcare. Mona remembers her time as a clinician and how she often didn’t have the right infrastructure to give patients the support they needed. She talks about how Humana is in a unique position to think about a holistic set of experiences – not just for patients, put for providers too – and how to create them.
- Partnering with early-stage companies. For startups looking to make a difference in healthcare, Mona discusses what Humana is looking for in its partnerships and how to best work together. In clinical areas, she advises that Humana’s largest focus is addressing the needs of the sickest people. She also points to the need for solutions that bring caregivers and families into the conversation, and those that create integrated experiences in home and community-based settings. Overall, the goal is to become more efficient at providing the right care at the right time.
To hear Mona and Keith talk about these topics and more, listen to this episode of Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders.