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Health Innovator Dr. Trent Haywood Joins Zing Health as Chief Medical Officer

Clinician executive brings key BCBS, CMS experience to task of extending quality care to under-resourced communities

Experienced health administrator Trent Haywood, MD, JD, has been named chief medical officer of Zing Health, a Chicago-based provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

“Dr. Haywood is a true clinician executive with deep experience in technology and population health innovation,”

Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Zing Health’s CEO

Previously, Dr. Haywood served as senior vice president in the Office of Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, representing the BCBS system on clinical matters affecting its more than 106 million members. During his tenure, he led the development of medical policy, technology platforms, and clinical programs.

Seasoned Leader Shaped Public and Private Healthcare Innovations

In his Blue Cross and Blue Shield role, Dr. Haywood oversaw the National Council of Physician Executives and founded and served as the president of the BCBS Institute, which utilizes business practices and strategic business collaborations to address social determinants of health. His innovative programs included a partnership with Lyft to provide rides to medical appointments for health plan members without reliable access to transportation.

Other notable positions during his career include deputy chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and chief medical officer of VHA Inc. (now Vizient), where he worked with clinicians to reduce costs, minimize clinical variation and optimize service-line performance.

“During his 20-plus year career in healthcare, Dr. Haywood has focused on improving population health, and his values align perfectly with Zing Health’s mission to address social determinants of health at scale.”

Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Zing Health’s CEO

Dr. Haywood’s CMS leadership came as the agency explored alternate payment arrangements. He has a wealth of experience on both the provider and payer sides. “I was fortunate to be chief medical officer at VHA when CMS was implementing value-based payment methodologies, so I gained the provider perspective,” Dr. Haywood said. “Most recently, my Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association experience allowed me to gain a payer’s perspective on the private commercial side.”

Dr. Haywood’s creative approaches to addressing health issues outside the medical office have been instrumental in bringing care to those who need it most. Dr. Haywood’s venture services firm, Knowality, partnered with healthcare startups and venture capital firms to create faster adoption of services addressing social determinants of health, home- and community-based services, and senior community living.

“Because Zing Health is relatively new, because it is dedicated to focus on underserved communities, we can design the health plan with social determinants of health embedded in it from the beginning,” he said.

Dr. Haywood received his MD from the University of Illinois in Chicago and his JD from Northwestern University. Currently, he serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Teladoc, the Change Healthcare advisory board and the Healthmap Solutions board.

About Zing Health:  Founded in 2019, Zing Health Holdings Inc. is a groundbreaking tech-enabled insurance company making Medicare Advantage the best it can be for those 65 and over or with long-term disability. Zing Health’s community-based approach addresses social determinants of health to keep individuals and communities healthy and returns the physician and the member to the center of the healthcare equation. This gives each member personalized care and service tailored to their singular needs.  Members also receive individualized assistance to make their transition to Zing Health as easy as possible, and have the ability to personalize their plans, access to facilities designed to help them better meet their healthcare needs, and a dedicated care team. For more information on Zing Health, visit myzinghealth.com.

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