In This Episode

  • [01:53] Deb's journey from CEO to author to patient advocate extraordinaire
  • [04:34] Why do we pay so much for healthcare in America and get so little?
  • [06:53] The shopping experience as an analogy for understanding the broken healthcare system
  • [11:16] The need for consumer-focused healthcare
  • [19:22] Barriers to leveling the healthcare playing field
  • [20:40] Addressing the issue of healthcare costs
  • [22:03] Removing the minutia of healthcare
  • [23:01] Motivation and energy in healthcare advocacy
  • [27:16] Blowing up traditional healthcare models
  • [34:14] The high cost of healthcare in America

What We Learned From Deb

  • Many people are unaware that independent advocates exist and can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complex healthcare system. It is important to educate individuals about these resources and their benefits.
  • Seek help sooner rather than later: People often struggle to ask for help, even when they know it's available. Encourage individuals to overcome their reluctance and reach out for assistance when needed.
  • The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, presenting new challenges and scenarios. This emphasizes the need for expert guidance to navigate these changes effectively.
  • Encourage healthcare professionals and advocates to approach their work with empathy and understanding, recognizing the importance of addressing consumer vulnerability and providing support.

Notable Quotes

[22:45] “Let people get what they need, let doctors and hospitals do what they think is right, and let individuals make good decisions for themselves.”


[24:07] “It is so universal that people just want to feel well, to feel respected, to feel listened to, to feel taken care of.”


[27:32] “We shouldn't have a system so broken that you need a guide to get you through it.”


[30:29] "Let's protect everyone from that catastrophic financial risk. Then on top of that, employers can do more, and individuals can do more.


Our Guest

Deb Gordon is a dedicated healthcare advocate with a career focused on equity. As CEO of Umbra Health Advocacy and co-director of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, she champions innovation and patient empowerment. An accomplished author, she penned "The Health Care Consumer's Manifesto." Deb brings over two decades of healthcare leadership experience, including roles as CMO for a Massachusetts health plan and CEO of a health tech company. Recognized as an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, and Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 Honoree.

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