Around the nation: The new Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire startup just named a CTO

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

Serkan Kutan, who served as chief technology officer of ZocDoc for three years, will assume the CTO role at the new startup, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Illinois, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. 

  • Massachusetts: The Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway health care startup announced this week that Serkan Kutan, former chief technology officer (CTO) for ZocDoc, will serve as CTO of the new venture. Kutan, who's worked for the new venture since January, served as a principal engineer for Amazon before working for ZocDoc for three years. Kutan in a LinkedIn post called the position his "dream job," adding that the health care start up is "the most promising attempt to improve health care in the [United States]" (Bartlett, Boston Business Journal, 2/5).

  • North Carolina: North Carolina on Monday awarded $6 billion in annual contracts to five health insurance organizations to provide health care to state Medicaid beneficiaries under the state's privatized Medicaid managed care program, which will launch in November. The award is the biggest financial investment the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has ever made. Under the new managed care program, the state will pay independent insurers a flat monthly fee for each Medicaid beneficiary (Murawski, Charlotte News & Observer, 2/4).

  • Illinois: Illinois patients with opioid prescriptions may now access medical marijuana through the state's new Opioid Alternative Pilot Program. Patients must have a prescription for an opioid and a physician certification before they can register for the program. Previously, patients had to have certain qualifying conditions to participate. The pilot program will expire in July 2020 unless Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and other state lawmakers decide to offer the program indefinitely (Marotti, AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/5).

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