Andy Slavitt: We need to discuss 'real human problems' in healthcare

Andy Slavitt, a former United Healthcare executive and CMS administrator during the Obama administration, said during an interview with CNBC healthcare entrepreneurs should stop investing in wearables and calorie-tracking devices and instead innovate for people with chronic conditions.

Mr. Slavitt, who recently launched his nonprofit, United States of Care, spoke with CNBC's Christina Farr about his change in mentality after visiting various cities across the U.S. He discovered one of the biggest health concerns affecting Americans is chronic disease, and urged entrepreneurs to invest in startups whose goal is to solve "real human problems."

"We need to stop investing in the third Fitbit for the 50-year-old upper-class person and start innovating for people who have common diseases and conditions, but live in communities with low access to care," he said. "We need to talk about real human problems."

According to Mr. Slavitt, entrepreneurs need to change the way they think about healthcare and treat health and human services as one entity because socioeconomic factors — poverty, substance abuse and poor nutrition, for example — are all deeply intertwined and contribute to an individual's overall health. Sending a patient home with several prescription medications isn't going to improve their health, Mr. Slavitt said, according to the report.

"If you can help a hospital take care of a patient in the community, everyone saves money and everyone wins," he said.

To access the full CNBC report, click here.

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