Beth Israel Deaconess CEO: Model for the Future Isn't About Getting the Most Referrals

Kevin Tabb, MD, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has said Massachusetts is at least five years ahead of the rest of the country in terms of healthcare reform, but that today's current healthcare environment is still "naturally anxiety-inducing," according to a report from WBUR.

Dr. Tabb has been at the helm of BIDMC for only roughly two months after spending a good portion of his career as CMO for Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Palo Alto, Calif. He believes Massachusetts has "passed the tipping point" in terms of experimenting with new models for healthcare delivery, such as at-risk contracts for physicians, which have already been implemented.

So far, Dr. Tabb has visited every hospital in Boston and approximately 20 community hospitals outside of Boston — both collaborators and competitors — to learn more about their care delivery and potential partnerships. Dr. Tabb said in the report, "In the past we thought about, 'How do we get more referrals here downtown?' That's not the model for the future."

The new model requires a "level of humility that academic medical centers in general have not always been known for," according to Dr. Tabb. BIDMC won't focus as acutely on its referrals in the years to come, according to the report, and Mr. Tabb says the hospital will become part of a larger ecosystem.

Dr. Tabb went on to say that even if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were to be scrapped, there would still be rapid change in delivery models. He said "nobody has a monopoly" over the forces of innovation that exist at this time, and that healthcare reform is about more than legislation and regulation.

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