Episode # 136 – David Contorno is One of America’s Most Innovative Benefits Leaders Says Forbes. He Relentlessly Promotes Direct Contracting in Every Plan. Outcomes Rise and Costs Reliably Drop.

This episode features David Contorno, Founder and CEO of E Powered Benefits. In this episode he chats with Ron about the amazing work he is doing at his firm. They focus on offering employers, who are sick of not getting their desired results from other benefits firms, creative and transparent solutions that have real results. Their clients average first year savings of over 30% with reduced out-of-pocket exposure for their employees at the same time. David also discusses his thoughts on DPC and the future of American Healthcare

David Contorno is the CEO of E Powered Benefits, a benefit consulting firm. His mission is to deliver a different benefit experience for employers that is based on full transparency.

Mr. Contorno began his career when he was only fourteen years old, whilst living in New York. He decided to become a leading expert in employee benefits and dedicated 20+ years as a benefits broker/consultant. 

Giving back to the community is something that Mr. Contorno is committed too. He actively participates in the membership drive for the United Way, assisting the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and supporting the Dove House Child Advocacy Center. He is also a member of the board of directors for both the Charlotte Association of Health Underwriters and former board member Healthreach Community Clinic.

When he isn’t at work, family is one of his top priorities, he is the father of two children, Hannah and Ethan, and husband to wife Heather. He enjoys boating and traveling in his free time, as well as quality time with his family.

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Episode # 135 – Leon Wisniewski of Health Cost Labs Had Published Data this Summer from 2,400 Hospitals Complying with Transparency Mandates. He Came from the Inner Bowels of a Blue and Knows how to Shed and Clean up the Gaming and Intentional Confusion in Published Rates. He Gets how Bigs Play Ball and Has a Lot to Say.

In this episode Ron chats with Leon Wisniewski Co-Founder and CIO at Health Cost Labs. Here he discusses the work Health Cost Labs is doing to empower the stakeholders of healthcare (doctors, hospitals, and patients) to discover the true cost of care so that they can be the custodians of their own future. Leon is a champion of capitalism and the competition that creates efficiencies, supply chain management, and opportunities for new businesses to enter the marketplace to provide lower cost alternatives. He also does a deep dive into many of the games that the Bigs play to make even transparent prices confusing.

Leon Wisniewski Co-Founder and CIO at Health Cost Labs. With over 20 years of experience as an actuary, health care cost modeler, and a forensic auditor, Leon strives to find ways to lead lower cost outcomes. Health cost has become a barrier to health care. He wants to find and create ways to get people the care they need at the most affordable price.

Leon is interested in connecting with healthcare professionals and individuals committed to advancing innovation and value.

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Episode # 134 – Dr. Niran Al-Agba is a Third Generation Pediatrician Who Saw a 100% Pass Rates at Too Many of the 850 Nursing Schools and Asks – Is this Good for Medicine? She Discusses Her New Book “Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare”.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Niran Al-Agba, Pediatrician and author of “Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare”. Here, Niran discusses why it matters that Nurse Practitioners and physician assistance are more and more commonly becoming those responsible for primary care delivery. She dives into what is causing this phenomenon, how to raise awareness for patients wanting to receive the best care possible, ways to increase the number of primary care physicians in America, and more. She also dives into the importance of the patient doctor relationship, how foreign medical graduates could help in rural areas, and more.

Dr. Niran Al-Agba, is a pediatrician in private practice at Silverdale Pediatrics, PLLC in Silverdale, WA for the past 20 years.  She is a third-generation primary care physician following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather.  She is a mother to four children, an opinion columnist for the Kitsap Sun Newspaper, and recently authored a book on the corporate takeover of healthcare titled, Patients At Risk:  The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare.  Her written work has appeared in Fortune Magazine, MedPage Today, and the Seattle Times.

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Episode # 133 – Dr. Marion Mass Speaks Plainly and Loudly About Abuses in Healthcare that do not Advance the Sacred Doctor Patient Connection. She Teaches Us All How to be Stronger and Fight for What’s Right in this Show.

In this episode Ron welcomes Dr. Marion Mass back on the show to discuss what has changed in her work and the industry as a whole since her last appearance. Here, she does a deep dive into the Medicare Advantage carve out, transparent pricing, medical debt, and more. Marion also discusses what it is like to be an outspoken advocate while still working for a major system and gives advice to those who also want to become advocates.  In addition, Ron and Marion explore large organizations like the AMA and their impact on how healthcare is practiced.

Marion is a mother, a pediatrician, a community volunteer, a writer, and an advocate to insure a high-quality, sustainable healthcare system in America that will attract bright hardworking minds in the future.

The Practicing Physicians of America advocates for all patients by advocating for the profession of medicine. The social media reach of PPA is viral. They are a consortium of grassroots physician advocacy groups that believe that the key to good care starts with the relationship between a patient and their doctor. They advocate that physicians be able to practice medicine that is in the best interest of their patients and not for the benefit of the special interest groups that have taken over medicine.

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Episode # 132 – Travis Christofferson is the Author of “Curable”. What Does Atorvastatin, Metformin, Ketamine, Restricted Eating Windows, Poop Milkshakes, Hand Washing, and Surgical Checklists Have in Common? They Have Massive Unexpected Benefits to Millions for Free or Pennies Per.

In this episode Ron chats with Travis Christofferson, Author of the book “Curable”. Here Travis discusses his book and some of the ideas in it. He looks at utilizing AI to find trends as a way to help determine best practices. He also talks about the importance of understanding complexity bias and shares the fascinating story of the poop milkshakes. Travis also provides a deep dive into his work on ketones.

Travis Christofferson received his undergraduate in molecular biology from Montana State University and a Masters Degree in Material Engineering and Science from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is the Author of Tripping Over the Truth, Curable, and Ketones, the Fourth Fuel and the co-founder of Care Oncology USA. Today, he is a full time science writer and founder of a cancer charity.

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Episode # 131 – Chris Deacon Managed to Shave $1.5 Billion from New Jersey’s Health Benefit Plan with a Reverse Auction Strategy on Medications, Using Direct Primary Care and More. So Much Savings that they Fully Funded their Pension Plan – First Time in Recent Memory. Schools Gave Employees a Month Vacation from Premiums.

In this episode, Ron chats with Christin Deacon, Assistant Director of Pensions and Benefits, Leader of Health Benefit Operations and Policy and Planning for New Jersey. Here they discuss the Montana Miracle and how it inspires Christina and others to follow in the footseps of a grandma named Marilyn. Chris does a deep dive into the great work she has done for New Jersey and the savings she has been able to create for emoployees.

Christin has served in a variety of capacities both in government service and in the private sector throughout her career. Prior to coming to the Department of Treasury, Division of Pensions and Benefits, Christin served as Assistant Counsel to former Governor Chris Christie, where she handled a portfolio consisting of Department of Banking and Insurance, the New Jersey Lottery, Division of Investments, and all other agencies within Treasury. Prior to serving in the Governor’s Office, Christin was a Deputy Attorney General for the State where she was involved in high profile projects and litigation, including matters related to the State and School Employee Health Benefits Plans (SHBP/SEHBP). In private sector, Christin was a corporate restructuring attorney handling corporate debtor and creditor work and she is barred in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She also served as Chief Clerk to the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey for three years.

When she is not pushing the envelope at work, she is likely pushing around a double stroller on her way to her son’s soccer games or headed to a tennis match!

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Episode # 130 – Patrick Spain Founded First Stop Health and with 550,000 Members is Growing 60% Annually in all 50 States. Primary Care and Mental Health has Never Been this Easy for Employers.

In this episode Ron chats with Patrick Spain, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of First Stop Health. Here, Patrick discusses the first stop health telemedicine platform and how their goal as an organization is addressing two problems in healthcare: high costs and convenient access to care. Patrick also shares the terrible healthcare experience his family member had that inspired him to make a difference in the healthcare industry. First Stop Health has since grown into all 50 states plus Guam and Puerto Rico. First Stop Health sells directly to employers and sells on a free to the employee basis. What they give the employer in exchange for that is a guarantee that they will save them money measured purely by the number of diverted visits from ERs, doctors offices, urgent care, and more.

Patrick started First Stop Health because of his own unsatisfactory experience with the healthcare system and his desire to improve that experience for others. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded four Internet-based companies.

After graduating from law school, Patrick worked for Extel Corporation, a manufacturer of telecommunications and computer equipment, first as a lawyer then as a business executive. Extel was sequentially owned by Dow Jones, Rolls Royce and JWP from 1979-1990.

Co-founder and long-time chairman and CEO of Hoover’s, Patrick led the company from a small book publisher in 1992 to a profitable, publicly traded online business information services company with $31 million in revenue in 2001 with a sale to D&B in 2003 for $119 million.

Patrick was also the founder, CEO and Chairman of HighBeam Research, which he started in 2002 and sold to Cengage Learning in December 2008. He also co-founded and serves as executive chairman of Newser, a news filtering and summarization service with an audience of over three million readers each month.

Patrick serves as a board member of Owler, a Silicon Valley-based company information service that uses crowdsourcing and AI to revolutionize data collection, quality and delivery. He also serves on the board of Occasion, a Chicago-based calendaring and payment platform for small merchants.

Patrick is a member of the Library Council at the University of Chicago and is a member of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, the largest and best capitalized micro-lender in the world. He has worked in the technology industry since 1979 and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Ancient Roman History and a law degree from Boston University.

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Episode # 129 – 24 Million Patients Globally – 3 Million US – Agree Babylon Health Deserves 5 Star Ratings Over 90% of the Episodes of Primary Care…Watch Them Go Public this Month. Chief Medical Officer Darshak Sanghavi Lays Out How “Babylonians” Accomplish this With Only 1,300 Primary Care Providers.

This episode Ron chats with Darshak Sanghavi, Global Chief Medical Officer for Babylon Health. Here, they discuss the Babylon health model of taking on full capitated risk for their patient population. He also does a deep dive into how their model includes more than primary care by including a significant amount of behavioral health. Darshak explains the organizations commitment to preventative and proactive care utilizing cutting edge AI, but also giving people access to high quality care when they need it. He also shares with Ron the importance of having happy and engaged patients and providers.

Darshak Sanghavi, MD, is Global Chief Medical Officer for Babylon Health, the global end-to-end digital health care provider serving over a dozen countries and millions of people, with the mission of bringing “affordable and accessible health care to everyone on Earth.” He is the former Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare & Retirement, the largest U.S. commercial Medicare program with over $90B in annual revenue, where he oversaw all major national clinical and affordability programs. Earlier, he was Chief Medical Officer at OptumLabs, running a large portfolio of industry-leading projects with dozens of academic, government, and industry partners. Before then, he was a member of the Obama administration, as the Director of Preventive and Population Health at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, where he directed the development of large pilot programs aimed at improving the nation’s health care costs and quality. In this capacity, he was the architect of numerous initiatives, including the $157 million Accountable Health Communities model, the 3 million member Million Hearts Cardiovascular Risk Reduction model, and the $1 billion Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program. Dr. Sanghavi was also a fellow and a managing director of the Brookings Institution, and associate professor of pediatrics and the chief of pediatric cardiology at UMass Medical School. He is an award-winning medical educator, who has worked in medical settings around the world and published dozens of scientific papers on topics ranging from the molecular biology of cell death to tuberculosis transmission patterns in Peruvian slums. A frequent guest on NBC’s Today and past commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, Dr. Sanghavi is a contributing editor to Parents magazine, a health care columnist with Slate, and has regularly written about health care for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post. His best-seller, A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician’s Tour of the Body, was named a best health book of the year by the Wall Street Journal. He previously worked for as a U.S. Indian Health Service pediatrician on a Navajo reservation. Educated at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, he completed his pediatrics residency and cardiology fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston.

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Episode # 128 – Dr. Paula Muto Established UBERDOC as a Nationwide Platform for Consumers and Employers to Pay Experienced Docs Directly at Fair Rates. 4,000 Doctors Agree. And So Do Many Employers.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Paula Muto, Co-Founder & CEO of UBERDOC. Here she discusses the UBERDOC platform and how the organization’s mission is based on the philosophy of patient choice. She firmly believes in putting control of healthcare back into the hands of the patient. UBERDOC offers patients a wide variety of doctors and there are no referral or network restrictions. Patients then pay online a transparent and affordable price for the healthcare services they receive. Paula also shares what inspired her to start UBERDOCS.


Paula M. Muto, MD FACS, is a practicing vascular and general surgeon in solo practice and the owner of the Vein Center at Mutosurgical. She is a member of a family of physicians and surgeons who have collectively practiced medicine in Massachusetts for over 50 years. She is an outspoken advocate for patient care and is passionate about women’s health issues.

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Episode # 127 – Talented Katy Talento Brings it on the New Transparency Breaking Out All Over (That She Drove), On this POTUS doubling Down, On Direct Contracting and its Power, and on Next Gen Benefits Advising. Round 3. Ding! She was a Nun, is a Harvard Trained Epidemiologist, and Advised 5 Senators and 1 President on Healthcare.

In this episode Katy Talento comes back on the show for a third time to discuss her work on patient advocacy, surprise billing, and more. Katy talks about how healthcare has changed since the last time she was on the show, how Biden’s presidency has impacted the healthcare landscape, what she sees happening in the future, and more.

Katy Talento, president of KFT Consulting, is a licensed health benefits consultant, veteran health policy advisor and epidemiologist. She recently left the White House as the top health advisor to President Donald Trump on the Domestic Policy Council, where her job was to advance the president’s agenda to increase health care price transparency and price competition, end surprise medical bills, lower prescription drug prices, expand affordable options in the individual and group/ERISA markets, reduce the burdens of the Affordable Care Act, promote innovative employer sponsored coverage models, expand health IT interoperability, combat the opioids and other drug addiction crisis, eliminate domestic HIV/AIDS, and promote bioethics in life sciences.

 Prior to her White House appointment, Katy served five U.S. Senators over a 15-year period, including as top health advisor and manager of legislative staff and oversight investigators. She also worked in the private sector helping multinational energy companies protect their global workforce from infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue and the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service organization in the US. On the faculty at Georgetown University Medical School, Katy managed the Washington site of a multi-site NIH-funded pulmonology study. 

 A compelling communicator, Katy has delivered speeches to large audiences, served as Director of Speechwriting for the Republican National Committee during the successful 2010 election cycle, and has written a number of published opinion pieces, web copy, and video scripts. She spent two years as a Catholic nun and has worked with the poorest of the poor from East Africa, to industrial Russia and inner-city America. Katy received a Master of Science degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She lives in suburban northern Virginia with her husband and two children.

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