Industry Insights

Conversations with Healthcare Leaders

John Hensing, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Banner Health:

“It is critical to ask: Do we have enough information to manage risk and assign the correct incentives? Physicians want to do the right thing clinically. But EMRs, claims systems and other modes of tracking are still too fragmented. To create a value-based business plan, we need integrated and inter-operable systems for gathering, analyzing and delivering actionable data.”

Regina Benjamin, MD, 18th U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps:

“We have to put prevention in all we do and meet the patients where they are. To make sustainable changes, prevention has to make sense to patients within the context of their daily lives, where and how they live. The challenge is the current disparity and urgency of the health crisis. It is like asking fire-fighters to focus on prevention while fighting a five-alarm blaze.”

Ram Raju, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Cook County Health and Hospitals System:

“In our current system, we excel at ‘rescue care,’ but not at preventive care.’ We need to change the paradigm to integrate the incentives for the patient, provider, payor and health plan. Population health improvement may result in less procedural revenue to the hospital, but translates to profit in the health plan, which can return value back to all stakeholders, including patients.”

Tammy Lundstrom, MD, JD, Chief Medical Officer, Premier Health Partners:

“We all make mistakes. How you recover from them is almost as important as recognizing you made one. Some of those leadership skills you referenced that you don’t learn in the classroom in medical school are so important to being an effective leader. Developing relationships is important as well. It’s really all about: ‘Let’s sit down over the balance sheet; let’s sit down over coffee and have a discussion.’ You get to know people personally which really is helpful.”

Glen Couchman, MD, System Chief Medical Officer, Scott & White Healthcare:

“Although an executive role can be tremendously rewarding, it can also make you feel somewhat vulnerable. It can be much more time-consuming and may not be as lucrative as a practicing physician role. In addition, unlike most practicing physicians, executives may be out of a job quickly. When I was a practicing physician, I felt I could go on treating patients forever.”

Sean Muldoon, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Healthcare

“Data suggests that the job span of a physician executive at one organization is very short. Longevity is attributable to the ability to reinvent oneself every three years—such as learning a new skill set or taking on a new challenge or role.”

Robert W. Pryor, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Scott & White Healthcare:

“You need to figure out some way to establish clinical credibility, and working in the clinic is one. On the other hand, I could not continue working as an intensivist since the demands on both sides were too much. The question I had to ask myself is, “If I worked a half a day in the pediatric clinic, what credibility would that give me when I went to talk to an orthopedic surgeon or to a cardiac surgeon?” Probably very little, so you have to establish that clinical credibility sometimes in other ways.”

Howard R. Grant, JD, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lahey Clinic:

“Continue to practice clinically as long as you feel like you need to practice clinically, because it’s not like riding a bicycle and once you’re away from it for a period of time, it’s very, very difficult to go back. So, maintain the clinical practice as long as you can. Number two: At the time that your administrative responsibilities make it uncomfortable for you relative to the quality of your clinical practice, or make it too much of a burden on your personal life to be able to maintain both, you’ll know individually when it’s time to stop the clinical component of your practice.”

Dr. John L. Boyd, III, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Scott & White Children’s Hospitals and Clinics:

“I currently don’t. Up to two years ago, I did some clinical practice. I do not think it’s necessary. I’ve been in pediatrics more than 30 years. I’ve done a few things in those years that clinically, I’m very proud of. Because I’m at a teaching institution I do grand rounds. Hopefully I make meaningful comments; we’ll let the residents and the students determine that. I think you’ve proven yourself as a clinician before you step into this role. It is not required in my organization that I practice. I just opened a new children’s hospital over the last two years and I could not have effectively practiced any clinical medicine.”