Archive for August 2021

Tom Robertson, Executive Director of the Vizient Research Institute and Mark Keroack, MD, CEO of Baystate Health, pick up on a theme introduced in episode one and consider the frequency with which traditional financing is misaligned with the best interests of the patient. They then discuss the interpersonal dynamics involved in leading a complex health care organization. Mark describes the importance of respect, particularly when viewpoints differ. The session closes with an inspiring bit of history that you won’t want to miss.

 

Guest speaker:

Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH

President and CEO

Baystate Health

 

Moderator:

Tom Robertson

Executive Director

Vizient Research Institute

 

Show Notes:

[02:24] Guaranteeing some kind of basic set of health care delivery, I think, would have a lot of promise.

[04:37] Baystate Health is the tertiary care provider for a million people.  

[06:53] We ran the S-curve analysis at Baystate in the third month I was here, and people’s jaws dropped

[07:22] If 90% of your margin comes from 15% of your patients, you want to accept transfers of referral-based surgeries and very sick people in ICUs.

[08:15] For the Medicaid patients, you want to take risks on them to keep them out of the hospital because you’re going to lose money on every case. They need to be healthy and at home.

[11:00] Health care is an irrational system where your instincts about doing the best for patients will often cause you to lose money, and your instincts of containing care in order to make a margin, may actually cause you to do things that might not be in the best interests of the patients.

[11:30] Baystate Health has a physician leadership academy to teach physician leaders the business of health care: budgets, working in teams, strategy and how to do a business plan. They are really committed leaders who care about the institution.

[12:32] To work in a large, complex academic medical center, you need to be willing to try to understand where other people are coming from and put yourselves in their shoes.

[12:32] Book recommendation: “Heroic Leadership” by Chris Lowney. It is a history of the Jesuit order and a biography of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

[13:40] St. Ignatius of Loyola had four key cornerstones to his culture: 1. A sense of self-awareness; 2. He highly prized ingenious, ingenuity and creativity; 3. Heroic ambitions and 4. “You need to see “God’s love in every living thing”

[14:45] When someone is diametrically opposed to your point of view, rather than write them off as clueless, try to understand why this smart person might think differently. Even if you end up disagreeing with them, they will end up feeling respected.

 

Links | Resources:

Mark A. Keroack biographical information Click here

 

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Tom Robertson, Executive Director of the Vizient Research Institute sits down with Mark Keroack, MD, CEO of Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts to discuss a number of possible long-term changes arising from the COVID pandemic including workforce issues and patient preferences for virtual care. Mark offers his perspectives on the impact that health care spending has on the rest of the economy and shares a hope that the pandemic may leave in its wake a greater spirit of togetherness in the industry.

 

Guest speaker:

Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH

President and CEO

Baystate Health

 

Moderator:

Tom Robertson

Executive Director

Vizient Research Institute

 

Show Notes:

[01:24] Big changes happen in pandemics

[02:22] All of a sudden, workplace safety, workplace wellness, diversity and inclusion have become a top priority for the CEO. Health care will be demographically challenged in the next generation of workers. So they are focusing on the team so the team can focus on the patient.

[03:26] Virtual visits are here to stay. It will be interesting to see how it is integrated and how it extends the work. Managers are determining who will work remotely full time.

[04:18] Payers and the government will look to health care to recoup some of the savings from remote working because of the amount of spend in the country. There may be an incremental increase in the level of government involvement in health care.

[04:45] We may come out of the pandemic with a greater sense of community and a greater sense of social connectedness.  

[06:50] You can get work done as a team on a Zoom call. I think that the use of face-to-face meeting time will have to be different if we ask people to take the trouble to commute in.

[10:32] In America, the states are running a lot of health care policy. Different states try different things, and we can learn from each other and will copy what works for other states.

[11:19] Things that work in health care are quality improvement and patient safety.  

[12:02] It’s easy to make money doing the “wrong thing” and hard to make money doing the “right thing.”  

[12:16] What health care gets wrong: Other countries run on a fee-for-service backbone, but they don’t have that variability by diagnosis or the variability by payer class that we do in America, and it causes us to over-invest in some kinds of care and under-invest in others.

[13:40] High quality can coexist with moderate prices.

[16:28] I’m proud of Baystate’s strategy for population health.

 

Links | Resources:

Mark A. Keroack biographical information Click here

 

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