For The Record with Bright Health’s Kyle Rolfing

October 22  

Will the future of healthcare be most significantly defined by reigning in costs or accelerating outcomes? 

Both, and the key to both reigning in costs and improving outcomes will be addressing waste and redundancy. That’s one of the things we’re most proud about at Bright Health. Addressing waste and redundancy is at the center of the Bright Health Care Partner Health Plan model.  By partnering with one health system per market, we are able to streamline the process of approvals and referrals, reduce duplicate and/or unnecessary testing, and ultimately enhance our providers’ ability to deliver coordinated care across their systems. This next generation health plan cuts down on time and money while also delivering better healthcare.

What is the definition of value in healthcare today and what should it be?

In any other industry, value is defined by the consumer. In healthcare that hasn’t been the case for a long time. Consumers should be defining value in healthcare like any other industry, and we are beginning to see a shift in that direction.

For example, we know that affordability is a huge issue for consumers and healthcare is simply not affordable for many of them.  In addition, for the cost they are paying, they expect to have high quality, convenient service, and our fragmented healthcare system is a long way from delivering that. But there are signs we are headed in the right direction – finding ways to provide high-quality, more affordable healthcare to the majority of hard-working Americans is our priority #1 at Bright Health.

What’s the biggest “blind spot” in healthcare today?

The biggest “blind spot” is the lack of focus on the consumer as the customer. The fee-for-service relationship between payers and providers results in fragmented care that treats pieces and parts rather than the whole person.

Value-based care, which is the goal of the Bright Health model, does treat the whole person, optimizes health outcomes and is critical to redefining the system as consumer-centric.

What’s your company’s or sector’s biggest “blind spot?”

This answer is the same as above, and it captures why Bright Health is pioneering a new Care Partner Health Plan model. By working with one health system in each market, we remove the friction that has traditionally existed between payers and providers, resulting in an integrated, streamlined experience for the consumer.

Why is a presence in Medical Alley, critical to your company?

Talent is the most important factor in success. Our decision to be headquartered in Minneapolis was intentional because of the immense healthcare talent that exists here. Minnesota has healthcare industry leaders like Medtronic, Mayo Clinic, United Healthcare, and Boston Scientific, among others. In addition, you have companies like General Mills and Target who are at the intersection of healthcare and the consumer. Given the focus of our company – on providing the best consumer healthcare experience – we think being able to draw from these talent pools has been a huge contributor to our early success.

What is the one thing, other than time or money, you wish you had more of?

Speed. We have been fortunate with the great talent we’ve been able to attract as well as the strength of our Care Partners. This combination has allowed us to prove that our model works out of the gate. As a result, we’ve been able to attract top investors and have access to plenty of capital: we expanded from 1 market to 3 in the first year and are adding 12 new markets this year. But we really want to get this solution out to as many consumers as quickly as we can because we know it’s so needed in the marketplace.

Learn more about Bright Health by visiting their website at

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