CEO/ Founder of Longitudinal Health Care and Author, Health Care: Meet the American Dream
Longitudinal Health Care is committed to radically transforming the American health care system by providing consumers with an alternative to the current health insurance and Medicare payment models. Our product, the Longitudinal Health Care Plan (LHCP), will enable our customers to opt out of traditional health insurance plans. They will also be advised to save the money they will need for their long-term health care expenses with the intent of opting out of Medicare.
I started my career as a management consultant with Deloitte in the mid-1990s. After years crisscrossing the country working for every type of hospital – academic medical centers, rural hospitals, for-profit and not-for-profit facilities and integrated delivery systems – I became a full-time stay-at-home mother. After about a decade, I resumed my career in consulting, with a focus on the outpatient space. I’ve written two books. I’ve published tons of articles on not only health care, but also social, political and international issues. I always provide an alternative, well-researched perspective. In support of my efforts to change health care, I have a podcast called The Powers Report Podcast. I publish a show twice a month. I don’t interview anyone – it’s me talking for about 20 minutes on anything and everything related to health care.
I am on a mission to make health insurance obsolete. I founded the company Longitudinal Health Care so I could transform how we pay for our health care and critically, incent us to live healthier lives. I am the author of the Amazon bestselling book Health Care: Meet the American Dream, which is a narrative business plan for my company. I’ve been a health care strategy and operations consultant my entire career. After years of making incremental change as a consultant, I am excited to totally upend the American health care system as a business owner.
I majored in architecture at Yale and interned for a hospital design firm in New York before my senior year in college. After I graduated, I worked for a big bank during a merger, uniting facilities all over the New York area. I then went to the University of Michigan to earn an MBA and a Master of Architecture. Because of my health care and facilities consolidation background, I was hired by Deloitte. They literally pulled my resume from the career counseling book and asked me to interview with them. I didn’t even know what consulting was. Turns out I loved the problem–solving aspect of it and the constant change. I started doing hospital mergers with Deloitte and shifted into strategic and operational planning for providers around the country.
Put another way, I wound up in health care by pure luck.
Health care is probably the most complex industry in America. Obviously, I think health insurance is an obsolete mechanism and I cannot wait to reduce its role in the industry. I think our biggest problem is that Americans do not have personal accountability for their health. We see this with the poor health outcomes we have, especially related to increasing rates of obesity. Seven out of ten Americans are overweight or obese, and obesity correlates to pretty much every major chronic condition there is. Technology is not going to fix this problem. We, culturally, need the incentives and need to be properly motivated to improve our health. Everything else – AI, IOT, blockchain, precision medicine – is window-dressing.
I am looking forward to seeing how Longitudinal’s customers will react after a few years working with us. Our company fuses genetic testing with our customers’ socio-economic and behavioral factors to predict their lifetime diseases and conditions. We price out the cost of care and then offer investment plans so customers can pay providers directly for care. Once you know what you’re going to get, you don’t need insurance! A critical aspect of the product is that our customers come back every year and “re-up” their data. Then we can tell them how they are progressing against their timeline. We adjust the timeline dynamically – which can be positive and negative for our customers, largely depending on their behavior. We provide them with practical advice and explain how using the advice will directly affect their health outcomes and their financial responsibility. When customers are empowered with this information, I know they’ll become much more focused on ways to improve their lives and the lives around them.
This is career advice for anyone: take positions that will help you learn as much as you can. Volunteer to do things that put you out of your comfort zone. Learn facts, learn technical skills and observe the behaviors of successful people.
My professional goal is to transform the entire health care payment system so we connect personal accountability with financial responsibility. I expect to see Longitudinal Health Care making a major impact in key markets in Texas in the coming three years. This change will take a groundswell of popular, community-based support which I have already begun to drum up. It is really fun to get out there and promote this idea because people are so frustrated with the current system. We deserve something better.
Realizing how resilient I am. I remember one moment in college when I was waiting for a race to start. I was on the crew team at Yale and we were racing Dartmouth. It was absolutely freezing. We were all nervous and I just wanted to get the race over with. But I also wanted to get warm and I knew that racing would warm me up. That’s when I had one of those life epiphanies. I went from wanting to get on with it to wanting to savor every single competitive second of the race. Now when I try something new I do it with gusto. No excuses. I never want to say that something didn’t work because I didn’t give it 100%.
Leaving the workforce to be a full-time mother. I was on the road full-time when I became pregnant and had no intention of giving up my goal of becoming a partner at Deloitte. Then reality hit and I realized that there were not enough hours in the day for me to be the professional I expected myself to be and the mother I wanted to be. It was a very hard choice because of the conflicting messaging women get about being working mothers. I wound up channeling my thoughts on the subject into my first book, a novel called Mama’s Got a Brand New Job. Now, over 15 years later, I am reaping the benefits of having made the right choice for me. I have a fantastic relationship with my two kids and they are wonderful people…almost in college. I can pursue Longitudinal Health Care in a no-holds barred way because I already have the most important win you can get in life – a meaningful relationship with my family.
Celebrate your achievements but never get complacent. It’s important to recognize that everything around us is in a constant state of evolution. That’s why ideas and fashion and technology go out of style and become obsolete. Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, we have to continuously look ahead and embrace the need to change to stay relevant. Doing so requires an acknowledgement of what is good and successful, and then a shedding process to eliminate what’s not.
I wish I had met General George S. Patton. His quotes are fantastic: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity,” “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week,” and my favorite, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” I wonder how he would be perceived today given our culturally heightened sensitivity around uber–masculinity.
Learn something new.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I have lived in Austin, Texas for over 20 years. People here are energetic and interactive. There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit. Everyone’s doing something and it’s inspiring to be around.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I eat the same thing every morning. Two eggs, a slice of cheese on whole grain toast, coffee and half a grapefruit. I cook almost all my own food so I go out to eat to be social. It’s less about the food and more about getting out of the house and being in the community. That said, Uchiko is amazing.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM: Preparing breakfast and lunch for the kids and for me. When I pre-make a healthy lunch, I am more inclined to eat it when the day gets super busy. Which is always does.
10:00 AM: At a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class or working.
12:00 PM: Eating out for lunch is a luxury. I usually eat at home.
7:00 PM: Cleaning up after dinner. I do intermittent fasting, so I am done eating at 7:00. I am preparing for the next day. After all that’s done, I either do administrative brainless stuff or park it and watch Netflix.
11:00 PM: Sleeping. I have to get eight hours of sleep a day. I often power nap during the day for about 40 minutes, especially if I have to do a lot of hard thinking. I am much more productive after I nap.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I drink coffee in the morning and afternoon. I work out six days a week and I never have enough water. So water water water. I love a good glass of wine but it dehydrates me so I try to avoid it during the week.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I use Twitter almost every day to post an article or story about health care that I think is interesting. Same thing for LinkedIn. I am not on other social media platforms. Longitudinal will probably develop an Instagram presence because I think it’s a powerful medium.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
On the backroads of a foreign country or on side streets of a new city. I love to travel and have visited about 40 countries. It’s essential to get out of the tourist areas so you can learn what a place is really like. You also wind up stumbling on places you never knew were there. It’s like a treasure hunt.
What Else to Know?
There are a lot of ways to reach me, to learn about what we’re doing and to find out more about the health care industry. Please feel free to make contact. You can find me at:
Longitudinal Health Care website: longitudinalhealthcare.com
Personal website with links to articles, videos, etc.: janispowers.com
You can find both of my books (Health Care: Meet the American Dream and Mama’s Got a Brand New Job) on Amazon and through most major book distribution outlets.