Geisinger's plan to grow senior-focused concierge primary care, per Dr. John Bulger

John Bulger, DO, serves as chief medical officer for Population Health at Geisinger. 

Dr. Bulger will be on panel "Hybrid Care: Monitoring Patient Care Across the Continuum" at Becker's 7th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle, which will take place in Chicago from Oct. 4-7.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Bulger's session, click here.

Question: What are your top priorities today?

Dr. Bulger: From a larger industry perspective, we need to lower healthcare costs and look at new value-based models of care. For example, in our service area in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, we serve a large senior population and have built a legacy on taking high-quality care into our communities that they can access in a convenient way.

A key priority for us is growing 65 Forward, our senior-focused concierge-style primary care program for our Medicare Advantage members, which has seen tremendous success keeping seniors healthy and out of the hospital.

Q: How are you thinking about growth in the next 2 years? 

JB: Medicaid expansion is one of the key areas of growth for us since later this year we'll be expanding to sell our Medicaid product statewide. We're not only looking forward to growing the number of lives covered by GHP but also helping communities across the state – both rural and urban – live healthier lives by addressing health issues upstream before they become more serious and more expensive. When we're able to manage total health, that's when our experience has shown we can lower costs and improve quality simultaneously. 

Q: Where is the best opportunity to disrupt traditional healthcare today? 

JB: We can't fix healthcare unless we fix how healthcare is financed. We can do that by embracing the value-based care model, which prioritizes quality and managing total health in a way that frees providers from financial performance pressures and allows them to focus on creating better outcomes for patients. In a risk-based approach where payers and providers work to manage total health, people with multiple chronic conditions, many who are seniors or those facing other socioeconomic challenges, become the patients that providers look to manage.

Q: What are you most excited about for the future? 

JB: I’m most excited to explore additional ways to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital. For Geisinger, this will continue to be through pairing payment and care models to create offerings like 65 Forward that demonstrate how payers and providers can work together in a way that drives down costs to the system and improves quality and outcomes for patients.

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