6 CEOs Weigh in on ACOs, Employee Wellness, Payor Relationships

More than 30 hospital and health system executives discussed their ideas about the transition from volume to value, lowering costs while improving quality, new care delivery models and stakeholder alignment, among other topics, as part of Chicago-based Huron Consulting's Healthcare CEO Forum.

Here are some excerpts from the executives' thoughts on new care delivery models, as quoted in Huron's report from the forum. The complete report can be downloaded here.

On creating population health capabilities within the timeline needed

• Joseph J. Mullany, president of Detroit Medical Center: "We are part of a Pioneer ACO. It's taken a significant amount of our management's time and energy. But we still don't have data from Medicare to see how it's working. Essentially we've spent an inordinate amount of time on a very small population."

• Patrick A. Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Health Services Corp. (Derby, Conn.): "I remember being at a conference not too long ago where provider accountability for population health was being discussed. There was outrage from hospital executives. "We have to take financial responsibility for maintaining or improving the health of a group of individuals — but they're non-compliant and irresponsible! They abuse their bodies! And we have to go at risk for them?" This is really going to be about engagement. Yes, people do live unhealthy lifestyles. The question is how are we going to develop effective interventions? A few organizations are aggressively trying to manage the health of the populations they serve because it's the right thing to do. In the not too distant future it is going to be imperative. It is extremely challenging work."

On employee health programs
• Michael Vivoda, president and CEO of Cadence Health (Winfield, Ill.): "We are using our employee base as a way to experiment with population health. Our employees can pay 20 percent less if they take certain preventive steps — like getting an annual physical or getting a flu shot. Forty percent of our workforce took advantage of this. We're also working on fine-tuning our health risk assessment to better identify chronic disease.

• William K. Atkinson, PhD, president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals (Raleigh, N.C.): "Around 70 percent of our workforce has been willing to do health screening in exchange for a lower insurance premium."

On direct contracting with employers
• Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Health System (Seattle): "Our goal is to be the highest-value provider in the market. We want to put that message out to employers. Ideally, we would have employers coming to us to ask how they can take advantage of our lower prices. Today, many big companies want to lower costs, but don't want to restrict choice at all. That doesn't work. You need partners that understand that hospitals have margins."

On becoming a payor
• David L. Bernd, CEO of Sentara Healthcare (Norfolk, Va.): "I'm glad we have a health plan — it gives us some balance in our portfolio. But it does make it hard to partner with insurance companies. They see us as a direct competitor."

More Articles on Hospital and Health System CEOs:

5 Things the Most Extraordinary Hospital CEOs Do
7 Hospital and Health System CEOs: What Disruptive Innovation Means to Me
11 Most Pressing Issues for Hospital CEOs

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