Health Costs 2.0: Bending the Cost Curve for Plans, Patients, and Employers

**Attendees Please Note: Photo ID is required by EmblemHealth at check-in.

For special ticket options for Employers, Doctors, Students, Startups, Investors, Networkers, and Sponsors, please visit our Eventbrite site (note: you do not need to register here if you do there.)

We all know that the cost increases in healthcare are unsustainable. Since the healthcare reform debates in 2008, there has been a profusion of cost reducing innovations and now with important PPACA provisions in the pipe, it is time to take a close look at what is happening to the Cost of Care lately and what can move the needle.

This event will explore some of the newest options for Patients, Employers, Payers and Providers to see what is working to bend the cost curve.  First, up to six amazing startups will show us what they have created and how it has been working. Then top leaders in the space will discuss their view of what is working and what is not from their perspective.

Panelists and Presenters

We have a really great lineup. Presenting: WellnessRebates, Fitango, Epion Health, Collaborative Health, ClearHealthCosts, Health Options Worldwide and eCaring. Our Panelists include Laura Gaffney from New York-Presbyterian, Eli Camhi from VNSNY, Employer CFO Larry Klein, David Neikrug from HR vendor management firm Optimatum Group and Dr. Eliza Ng from EmblemHealth. See below for bios.

Thank you to our Venue Sponsor, EmblemHealth

We appreciate EmblemHealth's support for this important topic and their dedication to exploring ways to reduce the cost of care while maintaining quality.

*** Event Sponsor: Wellness Rebates™ ***

Thank you to Wellness Rebates™ for sponsoring this event!  Employers and Benefit managers can use the code "WellnessRebates" here to get in for free!  Make sure you select Employer ticket type at the Eventbrite site.

Wellness Rebates offers Customized Employee Wellness Programs that reduce the cost of care and help keep people healthy.  As you know, there’s a movement afoot to change the direction of health and wellness in America. WellnessRebates™ is offering something much better than a fad diet, they offer Customized Employee Wellness Programs that are built to last. They help employees make a cultural shift toward healthy living. Let’s face it, people are creatures of habit and unless we change how we think, we can’t expect our behavior to change. So why change? Because it can lower healthcare costs, increase employee productivity, and well, just make everyone a little happier.

Oh, and did we mention our Wellness Program can cost you nothing? Yep, there’s that too. For more information, call [masked]

About our Venue Sponsor, EmblemHealth

EmblemHealth, Inc., through its companies Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and HIP Health Plan of New York (HIP), provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 3.4 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. EmblemHealth offers a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states. For more information, visit

Special Tickets Available!

Sponsorships, Tables, Networking slots, Student, Startup, Investor, and Group tickets available.  Please register on Eventbrite for these special tickets (you don't need to register here then.)

Get Matched!

Need a co-founder, looking for customers, want to get involved with a great project or company, then you will want to be matched. We love the way our last event broke down who was coming for what reason and made the matchmaking / networking sessions go so much better.  If you want a badge with a label, tell us more through our Eventbrite registration page. Remember, only register here OR there, not both.

You can also call or email us if you don't see a ticket type that suits you at (917)[masked] or email us at [masked]


6.00 pm-6.30 pm Networking, meet, tweet and greet
6.30 pm-6.40 pm Introductions and opening remarks
6.40 pm-8.00 pm Seven great presentations on 'bending the cost curve' in healthcare
8.00 pm-8.15 pm Networking Break
8.15 pm-8.45 pm Panel Discussion: What Works in Reducing Costs and Increasing the Quality of Care?
8.45 pm-9.15 pm Open Q&A with panel 
9.15 pm-9:30 pm Closing remarks and networking

9.30 on After Event at historic Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street


Victor Adefuye, President, WellnessRebates

Wellness Rebates develops comprehensive wellness programs for mid-sized companies that inspire employees to embrace a culture of wellness

Victor joined WellnessRebates because he is passionate about using innovation, creativity and teamwork to tackle America’s biggest challenges, while helping individuals and organizations reach their highest potential. Prior to joining Wellness Rebates, Victor worked with Northwestern Mutual advising small businesses and families on how best to meet their financial planning and risk management goals. He has also worked as a corporate and labor law attorney.In addition
to health care and wellness, Victor is also passionate about education policy, and currently serves on the Education Leadership Council of College Summit, a national non-profit that partners with
high schools in underserved neighborhoods to increase their college-going culture. Victor studied Political Science, Management and Economics at Duke University and is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School. He was born in Nigeria and is the first generation of his family to graduate from college in the United States.

Rebecca Bar, COO, Fitango

Fitango is an innovative e-health platform founded in 2010 by a group of experienced entrepreneurs and health care specialists. We believe providing patients a place where they can access motivation and support from their social network in conjunction with medical advice from their health care providers can vastly improve their health.

At Fitango, our mission is to help people stay committed to their health and wellness by supporting and improving peoples' adherence to their medical treatment and healthy choices.

Joe Blewitt, CEO, Epion Health

Patients spend an average of more than 20 minutes in a physician’s waiting room, so why not make the most of it? A cloud-based tablet solution that digitizes the paper-based intake and discharge processes, from patient check-in to payment collection to patient education and more.

Joe was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force before starting pharma service firm Customer Promotions, Inc. in 1997 where he spent 17 years serving the needs of many Pharma clients. He started Epion in 2011 and is currently in the Health Box Accelerator in Boston.

David Goldstein, President and CEO, Health Options Worldwide

David, with Clark Lagemann, founded HOW with a mission to use technology to increase health awareness and help people take action. They focus on creating behaviors that drive earlier clinical recognition of disease. David's prior experience includes both the medical device industry and payment solutions. During his sales and management experience at L5 Surgical, C.R. Bard's Davol and ADP, he led #1 sales teams and created new product offerings and sales trainings still used by these companies. During this time, he learned many entrepreneurial skills to compliment his robust sales background. David continues to share his sales and leadership expertise to both students and professionals by offering trainings and educational presentations at ADP, C.R. Bard, DeVry University, Insight Only, JuiceTank, L5 Surgical and Rutgers University, and is currently a mentor for Tigerlabs’s health accelerator.

Robert M. Herzog, Founder and CEO, eCaring

Robert M. Herzog has extensive experience founding and managing companies.  Prior to eCaring, he acted in senior positions to companies that were acquired by HP and Microsoft, among others. He built his first company into five operating companies in four states with over 200 employees, constructing and operating energy and environmental projects and service organizations.  In addition to being CEO of a diverse range of companies, he has detailed experience in marketing, financial and operations positions. Robert has been a pioneer in applying new technologies to business ventures, in interactive media, digital TV, intellectual property services, content development, media, and technology commercialization  to companies including: IPnetwork (CEO); Motionbox (CFO); City Winery; Cahners Publishing, R. R. Bowker, The David Sarnoff Research Center, Interactive Video Technologies, (IVT), Sensar, IPnetwork, and The on2 Corp. In public service, Robert created and was Director of New York City's Energy Office, where he managed extensive conservation and alternative energy projects. As an officer with JP Morgan Chase, he assessed new lending opportunities and markets in energy, urban economies and housing.  Robert graduated from Williams College, and has a Masters from the New School for Social Research.

Jeanne Pinder, Founder and CEO, ClearHealthCosts

CHC brings transparency to the health-care marketplace by researching and providing prices for medical procedures and items. By revealing prices, we are empowering consumers to make informed decisions about the costs of their medical care and coverage. Jeanne gained a 360-degree view of journalism from working over a 23-year career as an editor, reporter and human resources executive for The New York Times. She founded ClearHealthCosts in 2009, using her journalistic skills to compile medical procedure pricing from different sources: independent reporting, healthcare providers, participating consumers and databases.

Elliot Turrini, Founder and CEO, CollaborativeHealth

Cost-effectively engaging people in health programs today is very difficult. CollaborativeHealth created RapidHealth, a subscription mobile/online wellness service for employers, healthcare providers, and consumers. RapidHealth uses a proprietary mix of entertainment, advanced behavioral science, and simple and delightful user-experience.

A Yale graduate with a J.D. summa cum laude from Seton Hall University Law School, Elliot is a board member of the American Council on Exercise. He founded CollaborativeHealth in 2007 to help people like his father who struggled for decades with obesity, depression and other medical conditions. Previously, Elliot was the EVP of a 300-employee IT services firm, and Assistant US Attorney for the District of NJ.



Eliza Ng, MD, Senior Medical Director, EmblemHealth

Dr. Ng is a graduate of Drexel University (Hahnemann) School of Medicine with a MPH from Columbia. She currently leads a physician team in supporting all aspects of medical management including utilization, case management and medical affairs.

Laura Gaffney, Chief Transformation Consultant, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Ms. Gaffney joined New York-Presbyterian Hospital in May 2011 to lead a major restructuring effort for the hospital. The multi-year effort began in early 2011 in anticipation of US health care reform. Six teams were initiated focusing on both clinical and operational transformation to increase efficiency while improving quality care and the patient experience. The effort is ongoing.

Prior to joining NYP, Ms. Gaffney had twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including President and CEO of a community hospital and Executive Director of a large chronic care center both in New York City. In addition, Ms. Gaffney was a consultant, a Partner at Ernst & Young, and directed a broad range of large-scale, hospital and health system engagements for academic medical centers, teaching and community hospitals across the US. Her primary focus was in strategy development and implementation, hospital operations/efficiency as well as integration across multiple entities. The topics typically addressed included: program planning and configuration, revenue cycle, managed care and reimbursement, clinical resource design/utilization and capacity management, efficiency in clinical and administrative operations and management, information systems, supply chain, asset management, human resources and the physician/faculty enterprise. Ms. Gaffney has a business degree in finance and accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Larry Klein, CFO, The Carlisle Collection and Casuals Etcetera

A tough negotiator, Larry Klein has tried it all from going self-insured to cost sharing, to full service.  He is open to new ideas and is not afraid to tell you what he thinks.


Eli Camhi, Executive Director, Select / Special Populations, VNSNY Choice

A long-time friend and supporter of H2NYC, Eli is one of the thought leaders in the care of HIV Patients and populations. He has extensive senior management and P & L  experience with healthcare delivery systems, Medicaid, federal and state grants, managed care, case management, database design and collaborative internet technologies.

David Neikrug, Chief Executive Officer, Optimatum Group LLC

Optimatum Group is a vendor management firm for the HR supply chain. Our turnkey solution creates value for organizations in financial and operational disciplines by optimizing vendor relationships, thereby empowering vendor accountability and maximizing margin expansion. Through Optimatum’s employer sponsored health care group, our clients reap direct efficiencies of 10-12% on their healthcare costs within one year, and 5-7% in subsequent years while maintaining existing vendors and current benefits without shifting costs. For organizations with an edict of expense management coupled with a culture of strong vendor management, Optimatum drives solutions at a time when wastefulness is a luxury we can no longer afford.

Nathalie Bloch, MD, Medical Director, Mount Auburn IPA

Primary Care Physician and Hospitalist. She is a Board Member and Medical Director of the Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, Inc. (MACIPA) in Cambridge, MA, Instructing Physician for the Family Meeting Project at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Fellow for Innovation in Primary Care at Harvard Medical School and Chief Medical Officer for Fitango. Dr. Bloch earned her MD from Sackler Medical School as well as a MC-MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Alex Fair, MS, Founder & CEO, and

Alex joined this Meetup group while researching how to solve the price transparency problem in healthcare.  He is still working on that one, but also created MedStartr along the way and helps run this group.  He doesn't usually put himself on his own panels, but since he knows a thing or two about the topic, he is making an exception here. has served over 550,000 patient searches for care and helps patients connect to fairly priced care daily, saving about 46% on average.


This should be a great event. Thank you to EmblemHealth for sponsoring and to the H2NYC volunteer team led by Donna Cusano for making it great!

Join or login to comment.

  • Laurie W.

    For anyone who would like to review this meetup, a full video webcast archive is available:

    1 · July 31, 2013

  • Deb

    Great event. Rarely do you get impressive presenters AND a terrific panel at meetups. I learned a lot just from the interaction between the two. Thanks to Alex and the volunteers.

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Alex F.

    I think it was one of our best events. Will definitely do it again.

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Donna C.

    Thank you everyone for joining us at this vibrant event--and especially our 14 total stellar presenters and panel! Special thanks to our venue sponsor and supporter EmblemHealth, who took care of the room a/v, set up, cleanup and more. Our event sponsor was WellnessRebates--thank you Victor. Thanks also to our refreshments sponsor Bruce Kaufman from Young America Capital--your choices were excellent. Greeting you at the lobby--Jack Lin. Our volunteers at reception who checked you in were two interns from Fitango: Tiffany McHugh and Nicole Auletta. Laurie Wheeler handled livestreaming from Onstream Media. And as always, Mike Schwartz and Flor De Chavez from Visible Me Productions!

    And a hearty appreciation and big thank you to Alex for dreaming this up and doing too much of this!

    1 · July 25, 2013

    • Alex F.

      Thanks Donna and thank you to our new sponsors for supporting the idea! Wellness,, and Emblem Health. You can watch the video here: http://www.webcaster4...­

      1 · July 26, 2013

  • Maria Jose A.

    I am a dermatologist

    July 25, 2013

  • Xiaochen S.

    I'm a master student in Columbia University Biomedical Informatics Department. I'm currently looking for a job after graduation.

    July 24, 2013

  • Sarianne

    Sounds like a forum!

    1 · July 21, 2013

    • Alex F.

      Thanks Sarianne, we hope you like it. Lots more people registered on the Eventbrite site too!

      July 22, 2013

  • Howard R.

    I am looking forward to being there and speaking with folks about telehealth!!

    July 18, 2013

  • Cheryl D.

    Risk in healthcare is costing institutions tons of money on medical malpractice lawsuits - these costs are ultimately passed along to patients. Insurance premiums are increased to absorb these legal fees. Awareness building on the legal-medical environment is crucial in today's environment.

    July 16, 2013

  • Brian K.

    great topic

    July 5, 2013

    • Alex F.

      Thanks Brian. You guys ready to get up front with your cool idea?

      July 12, 2013

  • Om

    We have IT solution to blood transfusion decision support

    July 11, 2013

  • John

    Looking forward to meeting people and exchanging ideas on how to lower costs - and prices - for patients.

    1 · July 5, 2013

  • Pamela G.

    When will this session (How To Design Killer Apps for Healthy Living (KA4HL)) be scheduled. I paid for it and it has yet to be scheduled. I think you should either cancel it or schedule it ASAP!

    June 20, 2013

    • Alex F.

      Hey Pam, KA4HL will be in August. We have a great line-up and are looking at venues. Please be welcome to request a refund if you wish and we will process it.

      July 5, 2013

  • Carmina

    is the geared to plan members or people looking to get health insurance?

    June 29, 2013

    • Alex F.

      Our events generally appeal to a wide range of people, patients, doctors, hospital leaders, innovators inventors, plan managers, and employers. This one specifically is about who is going to pay for all this care, which of course matters to us all.

      July 5, 2013

155 went

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