Kristin Baker Spohn was recently named the newest health-tech investor at Social Capital, where she'll work alongside early Facebook investor Chamath Palihapitiya and focus on early-stage start-ups. This marks the latest Silicon Valley venture firm that is making major strides into health-technology. Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, GV, CRV and others have all added partners with a health background to their ranks.
Prior to joining the fund as a partner, Baker Spohn worked in the health care group at Goldman Sachs, and as an operator at Castlight Health and Collective Health.
This is her story about what happened when she noticed a duplicate billing for a procedure she had during her pregnancy...
I've spent my entire career in health care.
It's impossible to work in this industry and not lament how challenging our system can be for patients. But I didn't truly appreciate its complexity until I was the one navigating it on my own.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and classified as a "high risk" pregnancy. Following my doctor's orders, I had an additional ultrasound to check on the growth of my baby. A little over a week later, I went into labor and delivered my happy and healthy son.
We settled in with our new life at home and in a few weeks the onslaught of hospital bills and explanations of benefits (EOBs) from my health insurance administrator arrived. As the diligent chief financial officer and resident health care expert of our family, I jumped in, determined to reconcile the insurance reimbursement with the hospital bills.
In the haze of new motherhood, my recollection may be fuzzy, but it went something like this:
In one hospital bill, I noticed that there was a duplicate charge for my additional ultrasound.
Most people would groan -- or worse, not even notice the duplicate charge -- but for me, it was game time. I felt like an athlete who had trained for this moment for years. My finance background and attention to detail enabled me to reconcile and find errors in complex financial statements and models. My work at Castlight prepared me to understand all of the different healthcare systems, billing and reimbursement codes. And my weird love of negotiation energized me as I approached the starting line.