Becker's Healthcare CEO + CFO Virtual Event: Kevin Conroy, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Population Health Officer at CareMount Medical

Kevin Conroy serves as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Population Health Officer at CareMount Medical.

Kevin will speak at Becker's Healthcare CEO + CFO Virtual Event. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the virtual event, which will take place on November 9-12, 2020.

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

Question: What are the three top concerns for hospitals and health systems this year?

Kevin Conroy: First and foremost, hospitals and health systems must look at how they are dealing with the pandemic and what they may need to do to address the aftermath. As we move past the initial crisis, organizations must also consider what must be done to prepare for a second surge, should one come.

Healthcare leaders must also stay ahead of the curve in terms of growth and preserving the long-term financial sustainability of their organizations. Given the difficult economic cycle and market uncertainties, enterprises need to constantly look for opportunities to expand partnerships with other provider groups and payers in order to achieve their top-line growth goals.

Leaders must also adapt to expanding value-based reimbursement models and embrace a path to value that drives efficiencies in the delivery of care. To create a more efficient healthcare delivery system, organizations must take on increased risk and find ways to trim costs.

Q: What's one lesson you learned early in your career that has helped you lead in healthcare?

KC: Early in my career, I learned the importance of identifying incredible talent and allowing them to excel at what they do best. It’s also critical to allow team members to be part of something larger and contribute to the enterprise’s overall goals.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your organization's value-based initiatives or highlighted their importance?

KC: We are determined more than ever to continue on our path to global capitation and participation in full risk models. While weathering the instability of the pandemic, one lesson we have learned is that the revenue streams are much more predictable under capitated systems than fee-for-service models.

Prior to the pandemic, we were fully committed to value-based care through our Next Generation ACO. Our strategic plan has been to assume full risk under Medicare Advantage by 2022 and that currently remains unchanged. What may change over time is the exact timing for participation in more integrated value-based models with commercial populations, though we anticipate it will become part of the conversation sooner than later.

We’ve also had a robust care coordination and communication system in place for our patients and have employed risk stratification models to determine the frequency and extent of our interactions with certain patient segments, such as those with chronic conditions. When our area became a hot spot in the U.S., we realized the need to pivot our focus and look at a targeted cohort of members to include the most vulnerable patients in our population. Because we already had the infrastructure in place, we were able to quickly shift gears and use our analytics capabilities to rapidly identify our highest risk patients and increase our frequency of interactions with them. We also use Salesforce as part of our patient engagement strategy, which gave us an efficient mechanism to communicate with these patients sooner versus later.

Conducting annual wellness visits is one of the pillars of value-based care, but for several weeks we were unable to see patients in the office. We quickly expanded our telehealth capabilities so we could stay connected with patients. Though we were not always able to conduct wellness visits as entirely as we did in person, virtual visits allowed us to stay in touch with our patients.

Q: If you could pass along one piece of advice to another hospital leader, what would it be?

KC: While it might be cliché to say this, I’d advise other leaders to make sure their organizations are ready in the event of a resurgence of the pandemic or another pandemic.

More broadly, I’d recommend that leaders work with other providers in their healthcare ecosystems to take better care of patients in a more holistic way. In the future, it will be more important than ever to work with care providers across the spectrum – from home health, physician groups, acute care, rehab, or post-acute care. We must create networks with multiple providers, allowing us to efficiently share current patient information and facilitate smoother transitions of care. By working with other providers across the healthcare spectrum, we can improve cooperation and communication, which ultimately benefits our patients.

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