By CultureBanx Team
- Health Tech for Medicaid, founded by Adimika Arthur, is on a quest to reduce racial, low income and ethnic disparities in health outcomes
- Currently, Medicaid is responsible for 19% of the nation’s health care bill
Medicaid, a significant lifeline for millions of low-income Americans, is undergoing a digital revolution. This transformation is not just enhancing the health care accessibility but also fostering health equity. However, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between innovative digital health tools and their reach to the Medicaid audience. Most of the digital health innovation has been aimed at middle- and high-income consumers, and this is where Health Tech for Medicaid (HT4M), founded by Adimika Arthur, is on a quest to reduce racial, low income and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.
Why This Matters: Over 93 million Americans were estimated to be enrolled in the Medicaid program as of 2024. That is a significant increase from around 50 million ten years earlier. Medicaid is basically a joint federal and state health program that provides medical coverage to low-income individuals and families. Currently, Medicaid is responsible for 19% of the nation’s health care bill, making it the third-largest payer behind private insurances and Medicare.
Furthermore these figures highlight why Health Tech for Medicaid is hyper-focused on reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes through partnerships to confront systematic barriers to health. As Arthur’s organization continues to shed light on the importance of fixing the fractured Medicaid system by leveraging technology, this synergy is abundant with organizations like the Black Innovation Alliance (BIA) that’s supporting founders looking to grow the social impact startup ecosystem.
CultureBanx: Describe Health Tech for Medicaid and the important work you are doing?
Adimika Arthur: HT4M is a mission-based market enabler, fostering innovative service delivery, infrastructure development, and policy advocacy. The organization actively promotes equitable and inclusive design of health technology products, services, delivery systems and capital markets to engage in cross-sectoral partnerships and policy implementation to enhance the nation’s largest health insurance program.
CultureBanx: What is your company’s unique value proposition that makes it stand out from the competition?
Adimika Arthur: HT4M stands as a bold, inclusive network committed to driving technological solutions for Medicaid enrollees and underserved populations. Through initiatives like the “Venture for Medicaid” campaign, we highlight the collaboration of Medicaid investors and innovators, pushing for policy changes and quick innovation adoption. As we move into 2024, HT4M emphasizes the concept of “Medicaid Futurism,” aiming to shape a forward-thinking, equitable health tech sector by dismantling barriers, elevating equity, and redefining venture capital for the inclusion and equity of marginalized and underlooked communities.
CultureBanx: How has the Black Innovation Alliance supported your personal and professional journey?
Adimika Arthur: They have been instrumental in aligning partners through robust advocacy and networking opportunities for HT4M. Their support has provided an incredible community network, offering invaluable assistance and fostering connections with like-minded individuals.
The reluctance in innovating for Medicaid beneficiaries stems from a few misperceptions and financial concerns. Financial Feasibility: Innovating for low-income consumers doesn’t seem to make financial sense at first glance. Medicaid is perceived as a low-margin business owing to its lower reimbursement rates compared to commercial health plans or Medicare. Technological Inclination: There’s a common misbelief that patients with Medicaid might not be technologically savvy or own smartphones to access digital tools. Contrary to this belief, 92% of adults earning less than $30,000 own cell phones, and 67% have smartphones. All of these things point to the necessity of organizations like HT4M.
CultureBanx: What inspired you to start your business?
Adimika Arthur: In 2018, I founded HT4M to address the technology disparity in healthcare for underinsured and marginalized communities. Recognizing Medicaid’s overlooked potential and the scarcity of underrepresented founders in health technology, HT4M was established to revolutionize the largest health insurance program.
CultureBanx: Are there any milestones you have achieved that you would like to share?
Adimika Arthur: We initiated the ‘Venture 4 Medicaid’ program, a key driver of Medicaid innovation, promoting collaboration among entrepreneurs, healthcare leaders, and investors. Our ‘Future of Medicaid Innovation Forum 2023’ was a major success, drawing over 700 attendees and fostering vital conversations about Medicaid’s evolution. We addressed the crucial Medicaid Redetermination process through informative webinars and social media outreach, reaching a broad audience. Hosting over 33 diverse events, both virtual and in-person, HT4M solidified its role in spearheading innovations and connecting various stakeholders.
CultureBanx: What’s next for your company that we should be on the lookout for?
Adimika Arthur: The 2024 Future of Medicaid Innovation event at JPM Health Care Week launched our Medicaid Futurists programming, focusing on health policy, healthcare financing, and innovations in pharmaceutical science. It’s aimed at making healthcare accessible to all, particularly underserved Medicaid populations. We’re also initiating the Venture for Medicaid program to advocate investment policy and reshape healthcare capital markets. HT4M is expanding globally to drive health equity, yet our commitment to the U.S. remains strong. We’re enhancing our programming to meet evolving Medicaid community needs, advocating transformative healthcare changes. This dual approach positions HT4M at the forefront of global health equity and domestic healthcare advancements.
Situational Awareness: As Medicaid continues to evolve, it needs to continue promoting access, equity, and innovation. With over $550 billion being spent on Medicaid each year, along with the advent of digital health tools, the future of Medicaid looks promising. HT4M’s Medicaid innovation revolution is not just enhancing the health care accessibility but also fostering health equity for all.
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***UrbanGeekz and CultureBanx’s “Black Innovations’ Frontline” is an exciting first-of-its-kind series showcasing Black Innovation Alliance member organizations. The Q&A series will highlight the founder’s impact across the entrepreneurial landscape in the United States through a unique culturally attuned lens