Tuesday Aug 17, 2021

Mark Keroack, President and CEO Baystate Health (Part 1)

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



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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