Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 4 Questions with Joseph Cacchione, Executive Vice President of Clinical and Network Services for Ascension

Joseph Cacchione, MD, FACC, serves as the Executive Vice President of Clinical and Network Services for Ascension. 

On November 12th, Dr. Cacchione will serve on the panel "Medical Group Management: Top Issues and Strategies for 2020" at Becker's 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place November 11-13, 2019 in Chicago.

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

Question: What is the single most important thing you need to do in your role? (e.g. What do you have to be great at?)

Joseph Cacchione: As leaders, we have to foster a culture that delivers on the Institute of Medicine’s dimensions of safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered. This requires resilience and the need to partner more collaboratively with our clinicians to be more innovative not just clinically, but operationally. We have to be bold enough to take risks and challenge the norm. Historically, healthcare has tended to move slowly to adopt new ideas and approaches. We don’t have that luxury in today’s changing healthcare environment, which is becoming increasingly more consumer-driven. It takes a leader who sets priorities and then gives people the tools they need to make the necessary changes that lead to success.

Q: What is going on right now?

JC: The primary focus for our organization right now is to double down on clinical quality. We are looking at elevating this across all areas of the care continuum including both acute and ambulatory settings to ultimately help us better manage populations. To further drive this, we are connecting our performance in clinical excellence to our financial performance.

Q: There is a lot to improve upon in healthcare. Of the many issues that hold your attention, what is the one you consider exceptionally imperative and urgent?

JC: Our imperative is to engage and empower physicians to organizational priorities. Helping create a community of physicians who feel confident in their practice and who feel supported by their organization to achieve success is vitally important. We have to give physicians a seat at the decision-making table and ensure that their voices are heard.

Q: What is one convention, tradition or habit that healthcare has adopted and left unquestioned that you feel either needs to stop or undergo thoughtful scrutiny? Why?

JC: One of the biggest misconceptions is that more is always better. This is not always true in healthcare and is not only unrealistic but is unstainable and has resulted in skyrocketing healthcare costs. We need to change the value proposition and ensure that patients understand that they are best cared for when they receive the right level of care, at the right time, in the right place. This will require a shift in perception for clinicians as well as for our consumers. 

The primary focus for our organization right now is to double down on clinical quality. We are looking at elevating this across all areas of the care continuum including both acute and ambulatory settings to ultimately help us better manage populations. To further drive this, we are connecting our performance in clinical excellence to our financial performance.

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