“I believe that we will be in the midst of a consumer-centric revolution. I think the industry is rapidly becoming digitized and there will be true omni-channel companies within healthcare. I’m not the least bit worried about traditional healthcare systems and what they mean to my organization at a competitive standpoint. I am very interested- not so much concerned- but interested in how the disruptors are going to affect healthcare, whether they are Amazon or Google, or some of the startups who provide healthcare to much lower cost basis with much higher quality. I think things are going to look a lot different”
The New CEO Challenge: Staying Ahead of the Transformation Curve
“The challenges I faced when I arrived back at Intermountain after about a 20-year hiatus were to learn the organization, to gain the trust of the people, to be able to accurately assess how we were doing, and then to take an organization which was very successful with a wonderful reputation-well earned- and spur it into action so that we could stay ahead of the transformation curve and be a model healthcare system going forward. Each of those things- very exciting but also very difficult.”
What Does it Take to Keep People Well?
“Turns out that what we do in our healthcare facilities is responsible for only about 10 or 15% of somebody’s overall health status. Genetics play a role, but somebody’s social circumstances are very important. So, we’ve identified two geographical areas in the state: one in northern Utah in an urban area with some real urban problems and one in southwest Utah in a real rural area.
In the first area, we’ve got 5000 Medicaid beneficiaries that we both provide care for and cover them through a manage Medicaid program. And in the southern part of the state we’ve got about 3500 Medicaid beneficiaries. What we’ve done is committed $2 million per year times 3 years in each of the two geographies and we’re partnering deeply with the state, the local government. We’re partnering with not-for-profits in those areas to now begin to really dissect out what it takes to keep people well. And it turns out that it’s going to look like things like housing, food, security, physical security, job growth, etc. And we are extraordinarily excited to begin to dive into these things. It’s ironic that I’m a pediatric critical care doctor and all that I think about is public health now.”
Culture Change: From “Are We Done?” to “What’s Next?”
“When I think about the barriers towards evolution or change for Intermountain, there really are two that come to mind. The first is: how quickly can we continue to make change, and how do we build a change-oriented culture where people don’t ask me: “are we done?” but they ask, “what’s next, and how can we help?”
The second is really, “how good is our imagination?” I think we have immensely talented people and I need to harness what their view of the future looks like and I need to actively engage in helping imagine what a value-oriented population health competent healthcare organization looks like that provides the highest quality and most affordable healthcare in the world.”