Kushtrim (Kush) Kuqi, 1up’s VP of Product Shares Vision for Product Growth & Innovation and What Customers Can Expect From Our Team


Kush joined the 1up team in November of 2022 to drive our product strategy and lead our product development and management efforts. A market-driven, customer-focused product leader, Kush brings a wealth of industry experience and a passion for helping our customers solve significant challenges to realizing the  power of what data and interoperability can do for their business.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our industry today, and how can 1up help solve it?

The healthcare industry generates more than 30% of the world’s data volume, but only 20% of that data is usable1. A significant portion of the data is trapped in a proprietary format, which makes it difficult to exchange with other parties such as payers, provider systems, and digital health offerings that manage and support patient care. This data has the potential to enable analytics interactions between clinical and financial data that can help make better care decisions, lower the cost of care, and reduce administrative burden.

Payers, provider systems, and digital health offerings need access to clinical and financial data to make informed decisions that reduce costs, improve outcomes, and maintain a competitive advantage. Payers are up against payment reforms, quality requirements, consumerism, and industry competition. Provider systems are under pressure from CMS and commercial payers to assume contractual risk and accountability. Digital health products and services rely on clinical and financial data from providers and payers. Regardless of the type of healthcare entity, access to trustworthy clinical and financial data is essential for making timely decisions to improve care and financial outcomes.

1upHealth’s Health Data Cloud was designed to simplify the challenge of accessing and unifying clinical and financial data from various sources to create a complete view of the patient. Using FHIR as a data currency for exchange and analytics purposes, 1upHealth can help customers better manage costs, understand the care they are paying for, organize data from other provider team members, and have a complete view of their patients’ health history. Additionally, 1upHealth can reduce friction by making it easy to acquire data in the industry FHIR standard and through APIs, all while protecting patients’ privacy and ensuring data security. With these capabilities, 1upHealth is well-positioned to help solve the industry’s biggest challenge of unlocking the vast amount of clinical and financial data to enable better care, lower costs, and improve outcomes.

What excites you about joining the 1upHealth team?

We all have our unique experiences interacting with the healthcare system, with its inherent complexities when seeking and receiving care. Every time you enter a hospital or a healthcare provider’s office, data is generated that is necessary for managing and supporting your care. When you switch providers or health plans, your data does not move with you. In most cases, you are left to fill out new forms or repeatedly contact your provider’s office to send your health data from one place to another in order to receive care. The healthcare system does not support the level of consumerism and ease of interacting with the system that you experience elsewhere, such as when managing your finances or shopping online.

The mission and vision of 1upHealth to make it easy to acquire, share, manage, and compute health data using open standards to power an efficient and effective healthcare system for all of us is highly appealing and relevant. The team at 1upHealth has developed a unique software platform that uses the FHIR standard, which links payers, provider systems, and digital health vendors to exchange and make data-driven decisions that improve the quality of care and manage cost. Being a data-first company and a central player, increases the likelihood of impacting all the stakeholders that drive the healthcare system, rather than merely being one of the players. To this day, this resonates with me and the mission of 1upHealth, and I am thrilled to continue building product experiences that help our customers in succeeding and better serving their members and users.

Can you describe your past experience and how it connects to your role at 1up?

Early in my professional career, I gained invaluable exposure to the complexities of healthcare systems and the challenges faced by providers and payers in achieving interoperability. As part of my role in a few Health IT organizations, I was responsible for overseeing the planning of software development activities and coordinating company readiness activities for the development and launch of clinical documentation solutions that relied on speech and natural language understanding technologies. On the payer and digital provider side, I contributed to the design and building of products that simplified benefit enrollments for both small and large employers, empowering consumers to better navigate their care needs through product experiences and take control of their care journey. The opportunity to develop products that serve millions of people allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the pain-points and opportunities that exist in the market. Regardless of the target audience, whether it be direct-to-consumer, provider, payer, or digital health vendor, they all rely on data availability, completeness, and quality to drive meaningful change towards better care, lower costs, and improved outcomes for all. My past experiences highlight the numerous opportunities and promises that 1up can deliver to our customers and their constituents.

What can customers expect from 1up product moving forward?

The operating mantra of 1up’s product team is “know your customer, work for your customer.” We consider it both an obligation and a privilege to understand the needs of our customers and the constituents they serve. While making decisions about our products, we utilize different frameworks to prioritize user goals over product goals. Frequently, we ask ourselves, “Does this make sense for our customers?” Simultaneously, we are eager to receive ongoing feedback from our customers regarding how we are helping them solve today’s issues and address future interoperability and data-related needs essential for making timely decisions to improve care and financial outcomes.

Starting in Q2 of 2023 and at the end of each quarter, we will share regular updates on 1up’s upcoming product releases. We are also actively seeking customers who can assist our product team by providing feedback on existing and new products. Whether this is achieved through process review meetings where customers walk us through how they have incorporated our products into their business workflow, or via product feedback sessions where customers pilot 1up’s products and offer feedback on their experiences, or by being a member of a 1upHealth user group where ideas are exchanged among our customers, we welcome all input.


  1. https://www.rbccm.com/en/gib/healthcare/episode/the_healthcare_data_explosion

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