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January 30, 2024 in News & Press, Upward Health, Upward Health News

Q&A with Upward Health’s New Medical Director, Dr. Christopher Hamann

Upward Health is excited to introduce Dr. Christopher Hamann as our newest Medical Director. Dr. Hamann joined our team in September 2023 with oversight of our Arizona and California markets.

Dr. Hamann is an emergency medicine physician with more than 20 years of experience in a wide variety of settings, including several innovative medical models. He became a physician out of a love for science and direct, personal experience watching family members live with healthcare challenges. He enjoys the roles of practitioner, educator, leader, networker, and market developer, and he is thankful for how these experiences have influenced his passion for communicating and connecting with people. 

Dr. Hamann completed his Doctor of Medicine degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is a member of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). He completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Hamann on our team as we have much to learn from his emergency medicine experience. Many of our patients have a previous history of inappropriate utilization of hospital services. I look forward to seeing Dr. Hamann lead our team as we manage our patients’ urgent concerns and keep them healthy at home,” said Anubhav Kaul, Upward Health’s Chief Medical Officer.

We sat down with Dr. Hamann to learn more about what brought him to Upward Health and what he hopes to accomplish in his role. Here’s what he had to say –  

Why did you want to join Upward Health?  

I was drawn to Upward Health’s model of care, particularly the Critical Care Specialist role on the care team and the company’s commitment to ensuring high value for our health plan partners. Prior to joining, I had been focused on transitioning traditional fee-for-service contracts into value-based contracts for another company, and I saw Upward Health as an opportunity to leverage this experience while returning to direct patient care, which is always a personal passion of mine. In addition, when I learned of the planned growth into Arizona, it felt like the opportunity was meant for me, as I had just spent a year living in Arizona and California.

What about Upward Health’s care model is most attractive to you?  

The involvement of the patient in the treatment process is what really excites me as a physician. I have seen how this type of care model not only improves a patient’s life, but it also drives quality and cost savings at the same time. To me, it’s everything that has been missing in medicine and has led to the outrageous growth in cost and loss of access to timely and appropriate care. Patients need to buy into the treatment being provided. Additionally, what I saw in the emergency room was some patients with frequent visits due to uncontrolled behavioral health conditions. Upward Health’s strong focus on behavioral health as part of a whole-person care model is a successful approach to addressing many patients with frequent acute care utilization. I plan to ensure strong communication of our efforts and outcomes in this arena to our health plan partners, and I’m looking forward to ongoing collaboration with my health plan counterpart on medical management overall.

What do you hope to bring to your team as their Medical Director? 

First and foremost, I want to provide my team with the tools and knowledge I have learned through my 20+ years in practice as an emergency room physician so they can better engage and understand their patients. While a small number of situations do need treatment in an emergency room, many of our patients can be appropriately managed at home, and I look forward to collaborating with the team to make this happen. Second, I want to learn about my team’s experiences to help gain understanding of how I can perform better for them. Our passion, empathy, and compassion are all individual and unique and we can learn a lot from the shared experience. Third, improving patient outcomes by ensuring strong focus on the treatment of chronic health conditions and attention to important care gap closures for our patients.  I have seen success using data to target the right interventions at the right time, and I am eager to do this for the patients we serve.

About Upward Health

Upward Health is an in-home multidisciplinary medical group that partners with health plans and other risk-bearing entities to address the needs of high- and emerging-risk patients. Using a unique, in-home, whole-person care approach to meeting a patient’s needs, Upward Health delivers and coordinates care that improves outcomes and the quality of life for every patient it serves. It has a Net Promoter Score of 86, among the highest in the healthcare industry, and ranks No. 7 on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. To learn more, visit www.upwardhealth.com.  

Press Contact: Ashley Kurpiewski akurpiewski@upwardhealth.com