Opioid Addiction

180 Health Adds to Leadership Team

A next generation group of local healthcare entrepreneurs is stepping forward to wrestle with one of the more tangled corners of our healthcare delivery system – opioid addiction and pregnant mothers.

Funded by Rolling Hills Ventures, Resolute Venture Partners, and Frist Cressey Ventures180 Health Partners is led by Justin Lanning the former co-founder of CredenceHealth, SVP with Xerox Services and executive with Healthways (recently rebranded as Tivity Health). The company has made strong talent additions in recent months while also acquiring a cadre of august advisors to guide its growth.

The company recently hired Kimberly Goessele, former Premise Health SVP and a veteran of both CHD Meridian and Healthways. Other staff additions include Chief Customer Officer Brad Towle, an entrepreneur and former Aetna SVP and Healthways VP. Among 180 Health’s notable board members are former TennCare administrator Darin Gordon, Boston University School of Public Health behavioral health thought-leader Mary Jane England, M.D., former Amerigroup Western Region CEO Aileen McCormick and Cressey & Co. Partner and all-around-healthcare-man-about-the country Sen. Bill Frist.

Addressing a highly specialized, targeted (and growing) population – opioid-addicted expectant mothers – the company partners with managed care organizations to connect mothers to detox or tapering and other community resources as well as “to significantly reduce the pain, suffering, cost and mortality of babies that experience symptoms of withdrawal from opioid drugs, otherwise known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).”

According to a recent profile from the Tennessean’s Holly Fletcher, more than 1,000 Tennessee babies were born with NAS in 2014 – at least that’s how many TennCare treated. Lanning says that number is now probably closer to 2,000 or 2,500. Also, for reference, recent studies estimate that prescription opioid abuse costs the U.S. around $78 billion per year.

So, it’s probably a good thing that other local healthcare startups, like Jumpstart Foundry-backed Affirm Health, a SaaS platform that helps prevent opioid and other prescription drug abuse, have cropped up in the last 18 months as well.

Molly Cate