Tuesday Aug 24, 2021

Mark Keroack, President and CEO Baystate Health (Part 2)

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



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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