Caring for Rural America with Dr. Jennifer Schneider

The Other 80

Jan 10 2024 • 26 mins

Rural America is facing a healthcare crisis. Home to 60 million people, rural areas face a 23% higher mortality rate compared to urban locations due to lack of infrastructure, lower socio-economic status and provider shortages. Indeed, rural areas have half as many primary care providers and an eighth as many specialists as urban locales.

In this episode, Homeward’s CEO, Jennifer Schneider discusses how her company uses remote monitoring, telehealth and a novel staffing model to re-architect care delivery in rural America with the goals of improving access and health outcomes.

We discuss:

  • Why Jennifer and her co-founder decided to make Homeward a B Corp.
  • How Homeward uses technology and non-physician providers to expand access to care in rural America.
  • Lessons from Homeward’s early rollout in Minnesota.

Jennifer says we often underestimate how large the  rural healthcare market is:

“I jokingly say [to] people when we started Livongo... we initially started in diabetes care. And people said, “That's amazing, it's going to be a huge business. There's 30 million people living with diabetes, so great that you did this nice little niche company for your next company”. And so well, how many people do you think live in a rural health care markets? [I] kind of get a blank stare. And the answer is – double the size [of] the population of people with diabetes… 60 million people live in… [a] rural market.“

Relevant Links

Homeward website

Lack Of Access To Specialists Associated With Mortality And Preventable Hospitalizations Of Rural Medicare Beneficiaries [Article]

U.S. Government Accountability Office: “ACCESSING HEALTH CARE IN RURAL AMERICA” [PDF]

Forbes: “Healthcare In Rural America Isn’t A Little Broken, It’s A Lot Broken: A Conversation With Dr. Jennifer Schneider, Founder And CEO, Homeward Health”

About Our Guest

Dr. Jennifer Schneider is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Homeward, a company focused on rearchitecting the delivery of health and care in partnership with communities everywhere, starting in rural America. Previously, Dr. Schneider served as the chief medical officer and president of Livongo. She also served as chief medical officer of Castlight Health. Dr. Schneider has been honored by Modern Healthcare as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” and by Fierce Healthcare as a “Woman of Influence” for her work empowering women and modeling diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Dr. Schneider is also on the boards of Maven and Jasper. Dr. Schneider completed her bachelor's degree in biology at the College of the Holy Cross. She went on to get her MD at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her master’s degree in Health Services Research at Stanford University.

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