A doctor applies her skills to make patient services more accessible
By Debby Teich
Photography by Tim Klein
Seema Kumbhat, B.S. ’95, M.D. ’00
eema Kumbhat, B.S. ’95, M.D. ’00, had always planned to take care of patients. But before she started her education at the Miller School, a position at Merck opened her eyes to alternative paths in health care, and she changed her focus. For the past 16 years, Dr. Kumbhat has been leading and supporting companies that innovate and optimize clinical care and quality.
“As much as I loved patient care, I realized that there were other opportunities in health care that would allow me to have an even greater impact on changing lives,” said Dr. Kumbhat.
After seeing the inefficiency of using paper charts and films during her residency training, Dr. Kumbhat began advising electronic health record companies that were creating software to streamline the charting process. She says the core challenges were to develop the software and then convince physicians to embrace the change.
“I knew it would be a game changer if we could make health records electronic and accessible via computers,” said Dr. Kumbhat. “When implemented well, these systems are efficient, and when high-quality data is entered, it allows you to analyze it, draw conclusions and predict how a given population might react or behave for a given health care intervention.”
Dr. Kumbhat later shifted her efforts to the biopharmaceutical, nutrition and device development industries, where she worked on ways to make medicine more accessible and affordable, as well as easier to prepare and administer. In 2021, she became chief medical officer for Option Health, which delivers infusion medications, nursing support and transitional care to patients in their homes and at infusion suites.
“We are reimagining the infusion care experience by providing an extra set of eyes and ears for providers and insurers,” said Dr. Kumbhat. “While our clinicians are implementing infusion therapy, they are also able to identify additional patient needs to optimize their health care nutritionally, socially, mentally and physically, to help them stay out of hospitals and get back to their everyday lives better than before.”
Dr. Kumbhat plans to continue collaborating with corporations on innovative ideas.
“I’m so grateful for these experiences and want to be in a position where I can apply the expertise I’ve gained toward improving patients’ health so they can live longer, stronger lives,” she said.