Changing healthcare's business model: SSM Health's Carter Dredge on making healthcare work for everyone

Carter Dredge, chief transformation officer for SSM Health, spoke about the need to "dramatically improve" the business model of healthcare to make it work for everyone during a keynote interview Nov. 13 at the Becker's Hospital Review CEO + CFO Roundtable in Chicago.

Mr. Dredge talked about growing up with his mother, who was paralyzed at a young age, and seeing how the healthcare system failed to work for her.

"I decided to dedicate my life to figure out how to alleviate human suffering, and I do so through business model innovation and design in healthcare," Mr. Dredge said.

He went on to discuss what the role of a chief transformation officer means, saying his role includes oversight for all strategy, population health and value based care, advanced analytics and business model innovation.

"As a chief transformation officer … we're really looking for ways to not incrementally improve the system but to dramatically improve the system," Mr. Dredge said.

When it comes to primary care, Mr. Dredge said, "we long — too long —have had an overly generically one-size-fits-none model." His job as chief transformation officer, he said, is to identify future emerging business models to improve care.

To do so, Mr. Dredge said one must be strategic.

"So many times we confuse operational effectiveness and strategy, and they're not the same," Mr. Dredge said. "Being good at something and being strategic are not the same concept."

Mr. Dredge added that when trying to disrupt the healthcare industry, one needs to have a strong business model, not just a new piece of technology.

"We're being very judicious as a system that we're investing in business models, we are not investing in a standalone technology," Mr. Dredge said.

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