Innovating Healthcare: Embracing the Quintuple Aim with AAPA Leadership

April 4, 2024

By Kevin Riddleberger, Co-founder, DispatchHealth

At AAPA, we’re not just talking about innovation; we’re actively pursuing it. Innovation, for us, is about enhancing the role of physician associates, modernizing care, and shaping the future of healthcare delivery.

Our primary goal is to find new ways to improve patient care, making it more efficient, accessible, and effective. From telemedicine solutions to cutting-edge treatment techniques, we’re dedicated to enhancing the patient experience and outcomes, while equally supporting PAs in their efforts to do so.

We also believe that everyone deserves access to high-quality healthcare, regardless of their background or circumstances. That’s why we’re actively working to develop solutions that address health disparities and ensure equitable access to innovative healthcare advancements. PAs are at the forefront of healthcare delivery, and we’re committed to equipping them with the tools, resources, and support needed to drive change. Through education, training, and mentorship programs, we’re empowering PAs to lead the way in healthcare innovation.

We cannot go at this alone. With the speed at which change is happening, collaboration across the healthcare sector is paramount. AAPA is forging strategic partnerships and working hand-in-hand with industry leaders, policymakers, and local communities to create solutions that benefit us all.

We also know that innovation thrives in an environment that encourages creativity and entrepreneurship. That’s why we’re proud to support entrepreneurial initiatives that have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach healthcare. I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve recently partnered with Kevin Riddleberger, PA and healthcare entrepreneur, to bring you an exciting series of articles on innovation in healthcare. Kevin’s unique background and perspectives will challenge us to think differently, inspire us about what’s possible, and showcase innovative models that are shaping the future of healthcare.

Join us as we embrace innovation, challenge the status quo, and demonstrate how PAs are building a healthier, more innovative future.

Lisa Gables signature

Lisa M. Gables



Kevin Riddleberger, PA-C, MBA, co-founder and chief strategy officer at DispatchHealth.

As a Physician Associate and entrepreneur deeply involved in healthcare innovation, I am consistently inspired by the transformative potential of our field to positively impact healthcare consumers’ lives. Over a decade ago, when I co-founded DispatchHealth, our mission was to revolutionize patient access to high-acuity care. We aimed to provide this care safely and conveniently in the comfort of our patients’ homes leveraging technology to achieve our three key objectives: broadening access to care for everyone, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing the cost of care.

In the United States, where healthcare spending exceeds $4 trillion annually, a significant portion of this expenditure is attributed to unnecessary facility-based care, including emergency rooms, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. Yet, many of these services could be delivered just as effectively in patients’ homes. This transition to home-based care at scale is essential for optimizing healthcare delivery. Nurse practitioners and physician associates play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of this shift by providing expert care in patients’ homes.

However, the transformative power of PAs extends beyond in-home care. As leaders in healthcare, PAs are positioned to help drive the healthcare evolution. We stand at the forefront of this transformation, guiding us towards a future where healthcare is not just a service, but a dynamic ecosystem of care, compassion, and efficiency.

Understanding Healthcare Innovation
Healthcare innovation is a multifaceted concept, encompassing advancements in technology, care delivery models, and approaches to patient engagement and healthcare management. It’s about challenging conventional norms and seeking solutions that elevate the standards of care, making it more accessible, affordable, and of higher quality. Personally, as a healthcare entrepreneur, I often find inspiration in the words of Steve Jobs, which resonate deeply with my mission to improve our industry:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

In the early stages of our healthcare startup, I encountered numerous skeptics. They doubted our ability to deliver high-acuity care at home, questioned the feasibility of funding in a fee-for-service industry, and expressed concerns about patients trusting home care over a traditional setting. Despite these challenges, we persevered, driven by our belief in our mission. Now over a decade later, our perseverance has borne fruit. Billions of dollars have been invested in clinical delivery models focused on home-based care, validating the transformative potential of our once-ambitious dreams.

Transforming healthcare as an entrepreneur in the US presents a formidable challenge due to the complexities it presents, requiring not only innovative thinking but also a solid foundation in clinical experience. It’s crucial to ensure our efforts are in line with the Quintuple Aim, which focuses on enhancing patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs, supporting healthcare providers, and achieving health equity. This alignment ensures that our initiatives not only innovate but also significantly improve every aspect of healthcare.

Achieving the Quintuple Aim has been a guiding principle for our success at DispatchHealth, where today we have treated over one million patients across the country in over 50 markets spanning 30-plus states over the past decade.

The Quintuple Aim: A North Star for Healthcare Innovation
The Quintuple Aim is a framework that expands upon the traditional Triple Aim model in healthcare. It originated as an extension of the Triple Aim, which was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in 2007. The Triple Aim focuses on three primary objectives: improving population health, enhancing patient experience, and reducing healthcare costs.

The Quintuple Aim builds upon these objectives by adding two additional dimensions: improving the work life of healthcare providers and achieving health equity. However, the Quintuple Aim’s framework is more than just a set of objectives; it’s a vision for a holistic and inclusive healthcare system where not one profession, company, or establishment solves challenges within our industry, but rather it recognizes that our collective work will help us inch closer to achieving these results.

  1. Enhancing Patient Experience: Innovation in healthcare means reimagining patient care to be more personalized, responsive, and compassionate. By leveraging connected devices, biomarkers, and new preventative care models, we can make healthcare more patient-centered.
  2. Improving Population Health: Through data analytics, predictive modeling, and generative AI, healthcare innovation can identify and address public health challenges, leading to better outcomes on a larger scale.
  3. Reducing Costs: By streamlining processes, utilizing technology, keeping healthcare team members practicing at the top of their licenses, and adopting new care delivery models, we can make healthcare more affordable without compromising quality.
  4. Improving Provider Experience: Burnout among healthcare professionals is a growing concern. Innovation can alleviate this by automating administrative tasks and enabling providers to focus on what they do best – caring for patients.
  5. Achieving Health Equity: Innovations in healthcare should aim to bridge the gap in healthcare disparities, ensuring that quality care is accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic status or geographic location.

The Role of AAPA in Leading Healthcare Innovation
As members of the AAPA, we are uniquely positioned to drive healthcare innovation. Our training provides a deep understanding of clinical care, and our diverse experiences across various healthcare settings offer valuable insights into industry challenges and opportunities. With a projected annual growth rate of nearly 20%, our profession plays a critical role in ensuring access to high-quality healthcare. To achieve this:

  1. Equip Ourselves for Change: By integrating the principles of innovation into our education and ongoing clinical training, we can prepare future PA leaders to think creatively, embrace new solutions, and lead the charge.
  2. Advance Patient Care: Build and adopt cutting-edge technologies in the field to directly enhance the quality and efficiency of patient care delivered by PAs.
  3. Collaborative Partnerships for Holistic Care: Facilitate partnerships between PAs, healthcare institutions, digital health companies, and policymakers to create a collaborative environment for innovative ideas.
  4. Support Entrepreneurial Initiatives: Encourage and support entrepreneurial endeavors among PAs to drive innovation and create tech-enabled service models for a prosperous and equitable future in healthcare – similar to what we created at DispatchHealth.

A Call to Action for AAPA Members
As we stand at the cusp of a new era in healthcare, I call upon my fellow AAPA members to embrace the spirit of innovation. Let’s pioneer new paths with courage and curiosity, advocating for change and building a healthier, more equitable world.

Innovation in healthcare is not just about new gadgets or algorithms; it’s about reimagining how we care for each other. It’s about building a system that reflects our values of compassion, equity, and excellence. Together, we have the power to drive this change and build a brighter, healthier future.


Please stay tuned for future articles in this series centered around healthcare innovation and the intersection of the PA profession. Topics you can anticipate we will cover are Artificial Intelligence, virtual/augmented reality, wearable technology, personalized/precision medicine, interviews with innovative leaders, and more. In the near future, I look forward to diving into the world of the hype vs. the reality of the future of Generative AI in our clinical practice.  

Kevin Riddleberger, PA-C, MBA, is a seasoned healthcare executive devoted to reconstructing our nation’s ailing and scattered healthcare delivery infrastructure into a more viable model. Boasting over two decades of hands-on patient care as an entrepreneur, physician associate and managerial expertise in healthcare, he is deeply committed to revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered, focusing on technological innovation, procedural enhancements, and quality upgrades. Before co-founding DispatchHealth, Kevin led the clinical solutions and strategic planning division at iTriage, a pioneering company in the consumer mobile health app sector.

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