Tuesday May 04, 2021

Kevin Sowers, President Johns Hopkins Health System (Part 1)

Tom Robertson, Executive Director of the Vizient Research Institute sits down with John Hopkins’ president, Kevin Sowers to discuss possible future directions for health care finance. They consider the unintended consequences of payment rate disparity between public and private insurance and how Maryland’s unique all-payer rate-setting model empowers providers to make investments in patient well-being that would be more difficult under the traditional payment system. Kevin shares his insights on programmatic investment to deal with the manifestations of social determinants of health and partnering with others to create healthier communities.


Guest speaker:

Kevin Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN

Executive Vice President, Johns Hopkins Medicine


Johns Hopkins Health System



Tom Robertson

Executive Director

Vizient Research Institute


Show Notes:

[01:01] Payment rate disparity between public and private insurance

[01:48] Maryland model payer system vs. other systems

[02:55] Advantages of Maryland model: Helps decrease ED utilization and hospital days

[04:15] Model forces you to consider community strategies to better manage high utilizers – Example of dental care patients

[05:24] Global Budget Revenue (GBR) total cost of care advantage – allows you to think how to integrate into the community to focus on the10% of patients who drive up 90% of your costs

[07:00] With GBR hospital gets paid the same amount whether it has 10 patients or 1,000 patients.

[07:52] GBR only for hospitals; unregulated and professional fees need to still be negotiated

[08:30] Example: Utilization patterns of the ED and hospital care to the homeless. Partnering with others to fund housing services for the homeless resulting in decreases in ED utilization and overall health care costs

[11:00] Use of grants to invest in social determinants of health, resulting in decreased health care utilization

[11:43] Developing systems of care with others in community to assist with socioeconomic factors and social determinants

[12:30] Example: Jobs program created to recruit, train and hire individuals previously excluded from workforce were hired to be community health workers

[13:00] Transforming lives to make a difference – “Living with options”

[13:56] Total cost of care model (GBR) enables you to do the right thing, and that’s rewarding

[14:47] Hospital at Home program to create healthier communities

[16:42] Background on Kevin and how he became a nurse


Links | Resources:

Kevin Sowers’ biographical information Click here


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