Emerging Leaders in Healthcare: Jason Prestinario of Particle Health

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MHE PublicationMHE September 2023
Volume 33
Issue 9

Jason Prestinario, M.S., CEO, Particle Health, which unlocks the power of medical records in an intelligent platform that puts the focus of health back on the patient, is one of the 12 up-and-coming leaders in healthcare included in the annual Managed Healthcare Executive feature.

We are thrilled to present this year’s list of 12 emerging leaders in healthcare. Managed Healthcare Executive editors picked the emerging leaders from a list of almost 40 nominees. They come from the full gamut of U.S. healthcare, including companies harnessing the ever-increasing amount of healthcare data, community health worker organizations addressing social determinants of health, and enterprises devoted to improving Medicaid program access and quality. These leaders are tackling the challenges of the 21st century with creativity, dedication and insight. They give us confidence in the future of healthcare.

Prestinario

Prestinario

I grew up in Chicago and studied mechanical engineering at Stanford University, receiving a master’s degree, concentrating in energy systems and high-temperature gas dynamics. My lifelong passion for relating models to real-world data manifested in helping launch deployed data science teams while working at Palantir Technologies.

I was drawn to healthcare because of its mix of data depth, complexity, challenges and importance. I was the 20th employee at Komodo Health, heading up the data science team. Seven years and many roles later with Komodo, I was presented with the opportunity to step into the role of CEO at Particle Health. It’s been just a few months, but I am incredibly excited about the potential to help put the power of medical data back into the hands of patients. 

Career turning point: The majority of good data science comes from basic analytical techniques combined with a firm understanding of the problem space and probability. One of the most profound moments of my career came from analyzing a new product launch for a consumer-packaged goods company while I was at Palantir.

The company had thought this new product launch was a massive success, seeing the amount of shipped inventory grow by 5% to 10%. Some very basic analytical techniques gave me the insight that this increase was a completely transitory increase. It also led to an even more important realization — using data to support a business only matters if you are actually willing to change course based on data. If you only use it to support a decision that was already made, it’s completely useless.

Biggest challenge of the job: As a new leader coming into Particle Health, I found it incredibly important to spend time understanding the history of the organization. There’s a real hysteresis present in any company, and it’s critical to understand its path in order to understand how to best chart the course for the future. At the same time, in a hypergrowth organization, it’s also very important to be ready to dynamically change and embrace the agile nature of disruption. I find that striking that balance between being ready to embrace dynamic change while still staying true to the DNA and roots of Particle Health is one of the largest challenges I have faced so far.

Long-lasting COVID-19 effect: One of the most critical aspects of COVID-19 is how it impacts certain individuals far more than others. From a healthcare provider’s standpoint, it’s important to consider a patient’s medical history (e.g., comorbidities) when evaluating what level of care they may need. Particle Health is committed to assisting providers in easily querying patient medical data, to give them transparency and visibility into every patient’s medical history.

What I would change about U.S. healthcare: There is a very real need to update an antiquated system that is also plagued with a circle of mistrust. From payers, providers, to life sciences and more, patients feel they come second. We need to break down these barriers in order to adequately align healthcare incentives with that of the patient.

Value-based care represents an opportunity to better align incentives across healthcare and these players with the needs of the patient. I believe that these constructs represent the future of U.S. healthcare, and I am optimistic about how they will help patients moving forward.

Book everyone in healthcare should read: Personally, I feel that as a society we would all benefit if everyone understood the business of healthcare a bit more. It represents 20% of our gross domestic product, after all. This is why I can’t recommend the book “An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back” enough. There is no easy way to fix our current broken healthcare system, and it certainly isn’t going to happen overnight. But if we all take a step back, make a point of understanding the incentives and focus on what matters, I truly believe we can start to make the meaningful changes necessary over time.

Guilty pleasure: As a high school and college (club) athlete, a data scientist and a fan of competition, would you be surprised to learn that sports betting is a keen interest of mine? The nature of understanding the probability of the odds leads me to understand that I will lose money with this endeavor. I keep my bets to a minimum because, in the end, winning money isn’t the important part for me — it’s the nature of making the bet itself that commits one to having a position based on probabilities. It is the psychology behind the whole betting experience that really fascinates me.

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