April 30, 2019

Carlos Cuevas, CC, SIPA, PH - Crain's "40 Under 40"


Meet LAACU Alumnus & Crain's 2019 "40 Under 40" Leader,  Carlos Cuevas (CC, SIPA, PH) 

Crain's "40 Under 40" Recognizes Carlos Cuevas (CC, SIPA, PH) Spring 2019 -- When Carlos Cuevas graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a bachelor’s in economics and political science, he was primed for a career in investment banking.

But Cuevas, born in the Bronx and raised in Westchester, quickly realized it wasn’t hedge funds he was passionate about; it was health care.

After quitting his analyst job at an investment firm to help his father, a corporate bankruptcy attorney, handle the upheaval in health facilities during the Great Recession, Cuevas returned to Columbia to complete master’s degrees in public administration and public health. He headed to Albany in 2013 and eventually served as a senior policy adviser to the state Medicaid director.

But the desire to be on the front lines of health care for underserved communities persisted. In 2017 Cuevas returned downstate and joined Somos—a network of about 2,500 providers that works with more than 650,000 Medicaid beneficiaries across the city—where he is now an executive vice president.

“We’re really trying to bring the promise of American health care back with community-based physicians,” Cuevas said.

To do so, Somos focuses on value-based purchasing—reimbursement keyed to the quality of care rather than the volume of services provided. Last year the state Health Department designated Somos a Medicaid innovator. It pulled in about $1.2 billion in revenue in 2018 through full-risk contracts with insurers and is projecting 67% growth this year.

Somos recently partnered with the state to provide health care to immigrant children who are undocumented and separated from their family.

“Now, for the first time,” Cuevas said, “we’re getting paid based upon outcomes and keeping people healthy in the long term.”