A Message from Our CEO: Focused for Evolent's Future

October 22, 2020 Seth Blackley

Evolent Health co-founder and new CEO Seth Blackley explains how the company is positioned to deliver for each of its stakeholders 

For over 30 years my father was a primary care physician in rural North Carolina. He woke up every day not thinking about practice finances, but about how to take care of his patients and change how their care was delivered. And he would go to extreme lengths to help them—from making house calls, to speaking with a patient in the middle of the night, to opening up our home to someone who needed a place to live during a challenging time. The care my dad provided was better care, but it was also more efficient, lower-cost care, as he helped patients stay healthy and at home. 

I hear echoes of my dad when I meet people across Evolent Health. They bring the same compassion and drive to fix health care on the broad level that he did. Whether they work to improve specialty care, drive population health or streamline health plan administration, they are attacking the $1 trillion waste in our health system and helping people live healthier, more productive lives.

A few weeks into my new role as Evolent's CEO, we are in prime position to take on these challenges, to have an even greater impact on the health care system, and to be financially successful in the process.

One source of my optimism revolves around the disciplined approach we've taken to focus on three core business lines. Each of these solutions targets key contributors of health care waste and poor patient outcomes. Each is "evergreen," representing large growth opportunities regardless of policy or political outcomes. And each is embedded with Evolent's unique clinical DNA, lending us credibility among providers.

  • New Century Health (NCH) is addressing a huge demand among health plans to control oncology and cardiology spend—which together represent 25% of all Medicare spend—through high-value clinical pathways and alternative payment models.
  • Evolent Care Partners is enabling independent providers to improve population health and spend more time in direct patient care, while sharing in the cost savings we help them achieve.
  • Evolent Health Services (EHS) is tackling administrative complexity—the largest source of waste—through an integrated platform that supports not just claims processing but also care management, utilization management, risk adjustment and other functions. 

With these focus areas set, we have doubled down on our commitment to being the clear market leaders in our target markets. We are highly committed to our customers' success today. And, as we innovate our solutions, the value to the customers will increase. As an example, we recently announced the expansion of the NCH platform to enable a lighter technology solution so we can support more lives in more geographies more quickly.

 

_q_tweetable: I hear echoes of my dad when I meet people across Evolent Health. They bring the same compassion and drive to fix health care on the broad level that he did. _q_

Shareholders stand to benefit from the company’s clear direction. At our recent Investor Relations Day, we laid out a detailed plan that provides a clear and achievable path to substantial share price appreciation. In addition to our focused strategy, we are expanding margins through a disciplined approach to our cost structure. We have communicated a path to "mid-teens" EBITDA margins, and we plan to get there soon. We have also taken a strategic look at our portfolio, leading us in the first half of 2020 to pursue strategic alternatives for our health plan assets. We have monetized two assets already, and we will have more to communicate in coming months.

What else gives me confidence? Our employees—the 3,000-plus Evolenteers who make everything we do possible. I couldn't be more impressed with our team. We have made many changes recently in how we are organized, including a shift to a more aligned and accountable business unit model, and even in the individuals who are leading key functions. But through these changes, the commitment to excellence and our mission remains constant.

Meeting our goals means fostering a workplace where everyone thrives. I am truly excited about the new leaders who are stepping up. I am proud of Naprisha Taylor, recently promoted to head of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), who will connect that work to our business outcomes. Recent, well-deserved promotions of women in leadership positions are one sign of our longstanding commitment to DEI. These include Emily Rafferty, promoted to EHS chief operating officer, and Jess Somers, promoted to NCH chief financial officer. Michelle Engel, recently promoted to chief talent officer, is already having a big impact on driving empowerment, accountability and results. She is helping to ensure Evolent remains the destination for health care's top talent. Included in Michelle's work is our commitment to employee well-being, where we are supporting employees in many ways during the pandemic.

I am honored to lead Evolent into its next chapter. We are at an inflection point, and I am confident that our team will continue to accelerate our momentum and drive value to each of our stakeholders.

 

About the Author

Seth Blackley

Seth Blackley is chief executive officer and co-founder of Evolent Health, as well as a member of Evolent's board of directors. As CEO he oversees all aspects of strategy, growth and execution for the company. Prior to Evolent Health, Seth was the executive director of corporate development at The Advisory Board Company. Seth started his career as an analyst in the Washington, D.C. office of McKinsey & Company. He also serves on the board of directors for GoHealth, a leading urgent care company. He earned a BS from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with highest honors, and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. Seth and his wife, Brae, live in Arlington, Virginia with their three children.

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