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Katherine Hobbs, MD, MPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Medicine; CEO, Author Health

Dr. Katherine Hobbs is a renowned psychiatrist and healthcare executive with a 20-year career dedicated to improving mental health access and quality, particularly for underserved populations. Throughout her career, Katherine has focused on disseminating innovative outpatient care delivery models, measuring outcomes and quality, and transitioning to value-based reimbursement for behavioral health.

Currently, she serves as the CEO of Author Health, a tech-enabled health care services company offering psychiatric treatment for serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Prior to Author Health, Katherine was the CEO of Optum Behavioral Care and Chief of Behavioral Health at Blue Cross North Carolina.

Katherine serves on the Board of Directors and clinical advisory committees for several health care companies, and she is an adjunct Assistant Professor at the Duke University School of Medicine conducting pragmatic research through her work with health systems and payors.

Background Summary:

Education: Dr. Hobbs received her Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University, her MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Clinical Expertise: A trained adult and child psychiatrist, she previously served as Chief of Behavioral Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Chief Medical Officer for Alliance Health, and in leadership roles at the Children's National Health System and Massachusetts Medicaid program.

Leadership Experience: Prior to Author Health, Dr. Hobbs served as SVP at UnitedHealth Group and CEO of Optum Behavioral Care, demonstrating expertise in managing large healthcare organizations.

Accomplishments Summary:

Author Health Launch & Funding: Dr. Hobbs led the successful launch of Author Health, securing a $115 million funding round.

Optum Behavioral Care: As CEO of Optum Behavioral Care, Katherine helped develop an integrated and value-based outpatient care delivery organization through partnerships and acquisitions.

Blue Cross NC: As Chief of Behavioral Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North

Carolina, she led the transition of the benefits business to managing total cost of care risk for behavioral health, developed alternative payment models incentivizing access and quality of care, and advanced care delivery through clinical and technological innovations.

Alliance Health: As Chief Medical Officer for Alliance Health, a North Carolina Medicaid managed care entity serving approximately 400,000 covered lives, she was responsible for all benefits aspects of the organization, including medical expense management, medical policy, utilization/case management, quality, and population health.

Duke Health: At Duke Health, Katherine practiced in integrated care settings and helped develop and lead predictive modeling and other population-based approaches for improving health.

Massachusetts Medicaid Program: As the Associate Medical Director of Psychiatry for the Massachusetts Medicaid program, she helped lead state and local initiatives for value-based reimbursement for integrated care and quality for behavioral health managed care organizations.

Kraft Center for Community Health: As a fellow with the Kraft Center for Community Health through Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Healthcare, she completed a Master’s Degree at the Harvard School of Public Health and conducted a pilot evaluation of behavioral health integration with pediatric primary care.

Additional Notes:

Expanding Access to Mental Health: Throughout her career, Dr. Hobbs has consistently focused on improving access to mental health services for vulnerable populations, including children, the underserved, and now, seniors. Her commitment to improving mental health access and quality through innovative models like Author Health makes her a key figure in the current healthcare landscape.

Advocacy & Thought Leadership: She actively speaks and writes on mental health policy and innovation, contributing to ongoing discussions about improving mental healthcare delivery. Dr. Hobbs also continues to advocate for value-based care models in mental health that emphasize quality outcomes and improved access. She remains an active member of the healthcare community, serving on boards and advisory committees for early-stage healthcare companies. Her expertise in both clinical practice and healthcare leadership positions her to significantly impact the future of mental healthcare.