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UnitedHealth Executive to Lead Telemedicine Group

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What You Need to Know

  • Henderson also has worked for Amazon Care.
  • She serves as a professor at the University of Texas medical school.
  • Telehealth providers face battles over reimbursement arrangements.

Members of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) have elected Kristi Henderson to be chair-elect.

Henderson, who is set to take charge of the Washington-based group in May 2022, is the senior vice president of telehealth and innovation at OptumHealth, an arm of UnitedHealth Group Inc.

UnitedHealth is one of the biggest health insurers in the United States. Optum Health alumni played a critical role in helping the U.S. federal government set up the current Affordable Care Act health care system framework.

Many public and private health insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid, introduced dramatic increases in telehealth services coverage and provider reimbursement rates in response to the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth services providers are now facing the prospect of tough battles with Medicare program managers, Medicaid program managers and commercial health insurers as they seek to make the new telehealth coverage and reimbursement rate policies permanent.

Henderson has served on the ATA board since December 2020.

She will succeed Dr. Joe Kvedar, who’s a dermatology professor at the Harvard medical school and a senior advisor for virtual care at Mass General Brigham.

Henderson is on the population health faculty at the University of Texas medical school as well as an executive at Optum Health.

Before she started working for Optum Health, she led clinical operations at an Amazon.com employee health care initiative.

She has a doctorate in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

(Photo: Shutterstock)