Archive for July 2021

Tom Robertson, Executive Director of the Vizient Research Institute and Cathy Jacobson, President and CEO of Froedtert Health in Milwaukee return to discuss macroeconomic challenges facing the U.S. health care system rooted in its Byzantine financing system involving counter-productive cross-subsidies between payers and a historic imbalance in payments across clinical services. They consider the merits of systemic changes reducing payment rate disparities, and the potential advantages of a future in which providers were payer agnostic and more empowered to invest in traditionally under-funded areas such as mental health and primary care. Cathy shares Froedtert’s initiatives to identify adverse social determinants of health early and a community-wide partnership that uses a single tool to curate social services resources for medical providers.

 

Guest speaker:

Catherine A. Jacobson, FHFMA, CPA

President and CEO

Froedtert Health

 

Moderator:

Tom Robertson

Executive Director

Vizient Research Institute

 

Show Notes:

[1:00] Health care finance is like a Jenga Game – the reimbursement system is Byzantine and doesn’t make sense 

[2:20] Health systems make their entire margins on very few things- they lose money on other things that they must do but are paid for by the former. 

[4:13] Health care needs to move away from the current reimbursement system 

[9:17] It would be far better if pricing was the same for all payers, government and private, and we competed on access, service and quality rather than price 

[12:15] We get what we pay for – if we don’t pay for it, we don’t have it. (Example: behavioral health, family medicine) 

[14:42] Price leveling would better enable providers to address social determinants of health 

[16:52] Froedtert approach to mitigating social determinants of health: 1. Identify affected patients much earlier and more consistently  than we did before, 2. Created a community-wide partnership to curate all available social services resources in the market by using one common software tool

[19:09] Health care organizations are economic anchors in the community 

[20:00] Froedtert creating educational grants targeted at effective high schools and especially vulnerable populations 

[21:40] If revenue was more fungible, would invest heavily in behavioral health

 

Links | Resources:

Cathy Jacobson’s Biographical Summary Click here

 

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Tom Robertson, Executive Director of the Vizient Research Institute sits down with Cathy Jacobson, President and CEO of Froedtert Health In Milwaukee, Wisconsin to discuss everything from agile decision-making during the COVID pandemic to deliberate system rationalization of clinical resources, including program consolidation and efficient utilization of both tertiary and lower acuity facilities. As a long-time chief financial officer, Cathy shares insights around economic incentives and the importance of avoiding inadvertent structural impediments to doing the right things.

 

Guest speaker:

Catherine A. Jacobson, FHFMA, CPA

President and CEO

Froedtert Health

 

Moderator:

Tom Robertson

Executive Director

Vizient Research Institute

 

Show Notes:

[1:13] America has the best health care in the world, but not the best health care system. (Cost, quality, and access for all citizens of the United States)  

[1:13] We do best in science, innovation, treatment and education

[04:08] Hospital systems must have local scale to accomplish rationalization of services; provider consolidation across distant markets does not serve that purpose

[10:05] The pandemic led to command centers that made decision-making more agile; Froedtert will keep the “recovery command” infrastructure in place moving forward because decisions are “deliberate but at speed”

[12:43] Unexpected consequence of the pandemic: Froedtert advanced the pace of their long-term cost reduction goals by one year 

[14:16] During the pandemic shutdown, Froedtert management intentionally thought about what new structures to keep after the pandemic (i.e. organizational change and enhanced communication) 

[17:05] Video visits are down from mid-pandemic peaks; Froedtert targeting areas to re-establish more virtual

[18:24] When patients are seen in video visits, not as many lab tests and x-rays are done 

[19:21] When volume comes back, it’s going to come back sicker and worse – we’re going to see double-up rebound on Medicare payer mix.  

[23:05] For systems to work, it’s essential not to inadvertently create financial incentives that impede good people doing the right things; at Froedtert, individual hospitals are not evaluated on their own performance, everyone rides on the system’s bottom line.

 

Links | Resources:

Cathy Jacobson’s Biographical Summary Click here

 

Subscribe Today!

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Google Podcasts

Android

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