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Ex-Top Microsoft Antitrust Lawyer Joins Health Care Data Startup

March 30, 2021, 11:04 PM

Two former longtime executives at Microsoft Corp. have reunited at Truveta Inc., a startup co-owned by 14 major U.S. health providers that aims to improve patient care by using artificial intelligence.

David Heiner Jr., who spent over 25 years at Microsoft, joined Truveta this month as chief policy officer and general counsel. He’ll report to Terry Myerson, a fellow Microsoft veteran who led the company’s Windows business before leaving in 2018.

“Truveta presents a tremendous opportunity to improve people’s lives at scale through data,” Heiner said in a statement Tuesday.

The Seattle-based company went live last month with its plans use software to pool medical data and improve outcomes, according to Bloomberg News.

Truveta’s backers include Providence Health & Services, one of the largest Catholic nonprofit health care providers in the U.S., the Bon Secours Mercy Health Inc., Northwell Healthcare Inc., Tenet Healthcare Corp., and Trinity Health Corp.

Heiner, a former Microsoft strategic policy adviser and deputy general counsel for regulatory affairs, retired from the company in late 2019 and took time off to do pro bono work, Alisha Mark, a Truveta spokeswoman and another former Microsoft employee, told Bloomberg Law.

He “played a leading role” in the company’s response to government antitrust proceedings in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, according to a biography of Heiner posted on the Justice Department’s website.

Heiner’s move into the health care arena came after he read about the company started by Myerson last month over his morning coffee, according to a Q&A on Truveta’s website.

In remarks released by Truveta, Heiner said his passion for his new legal and policy job stems in part from personal experience.

In 1992, his second child was diagnosed at birth with a heart defect that required open-heart surgery, which had only just become possible for infants. A pediatric cardiologist connected Heiner’s family with one of the few surgeons in the U.S. at the time doing such operations.

“Data can help shine a light on inequities in the health care system and show the way to solutions,” Heiner said. “I feel like we were the lucky ones, and it shouldn’t be about luck.”

During his time at Microsoft, Heiner oversaw a project that used artificial intelligence to improve access to legal aid. He also worked with Microsoft’s outside counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson on a long-running federal antitrust agreement that ended in 2011.

Heiner started his career as an antitrust, commercial, and securities litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. Microsoft hired him in 1994.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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