Chicago company hires Andy Slavitt, former Obama health care official

A Chicago health care company has hired Andy Slavitt, a former top government health care official who oversaw Medicare and Medicaid under President Barack Obama and was instrumental in helping to build Obamacare.

AVIA announced Wednesday that Slavitt would act as a senior adviser to the company, which works to help hospital systems find digital ways to improve their operations, clinical work and finances.

Health care entrepreneurs Eric Langshur and Ted Meisel started the company in 2012. Its clients now include 24 health systems across the country, including Northwestern Medicine and Rush University Medical Center.

AVIA has 45 full-time employees, mostly in Chicago, and 20 executives-in-residence and advisers like Slavitt, said Kate Soden, an AVIA spokeswoman. Slavitt will continue living in Minnesota and also will work for the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Soden said.

“One of the biggest things that Andy will bring to AVIA is his immense policy insight,” Soden said. “To say there’s uncertainty in health care right now is a massive understatement. Andy can provide a lot of guidance around how policy changes can create opportunities to innovate.”

In a news release, Slavitt said, “One of the principal areas I will focus on is what major health care organizations need to do differently for our country to succeed in transforming patient care. We have small scale innovation all over, but until physicians, patients, and systems can absorb and benefit at scale, our health care system will remain stalled.”