Pa.-based Geisinger Health System Aiming to provide concierge care ‘for the masses’

In Los Angeles, there are physicians, including my wife, who provide concierge care to affluent patients with great needs. At Geisinger, what I’ve seen is concierge care with the same level of attention to detail, for the masses. For example, we just learned we overtook Switzerland and we’re best in the world in anticoagulation therapy for stroke patients. So we have world-class outcomes delivered in a cost-effective manner.

Aiming to provide concierge care ‘for the masses’

In May, Dr. David Feinberg succeeded Dr. Glenn Steele as president and CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, which includes nine hospital campuses, a 1,200-physician multispecialty group practice and a 467,000-member health plan. Feinberg, a psychiatrist, previously served as the CEO of the UCLA Hospital System in Los Angeles. This year he earned spots on two Modern Healthcare lists, placing 86th on the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare ranking and 12th on the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders list. Modern Healthcare reporter Andis Robeznieks recently spoke with Feinberg about how he plans to make Geisinger more patient-centered, his system’s genetic research program, and the challenges of managing the health of Medicaid patients.

This is an edited transcript.

Modern Healthcare: What are your priorities as the new CEO?

Dr. David Feinberg: We want to take patient-centeredness to the next level. We want to engage with our patients and families in a way that’s compassionate and kind, and deliver care that is of the highest quality in a safe and culturally sensitive manner. We want to make our transitions in care remarkably smooth. We want patients to understand their bill.

MH: How would you compare Geisinger to the UCLA system you came from?

Feinberg: At UCLA, it’s a balancing act between the teaching, research and clinical operations. At Geisinger, our true north, which is supported by our amazing teaching program and our genetic research, is our delivery system. With that focus, Geisinger has been able to outshine a lot of places.

In acute care, probably the best number that shows you’re doing a good job is the observed-to-expected mortality rate. At Geisinger in May, for all our facilities it was 0.5. I never heard of a number that low. We found that for our Wilkes-Barre hospital, it was 0.2. We’re saving five times as many people as we’re supposed to be saving.

In Los Angeles, there are physicians, including my wife, who provide concierge care to affluent patients with great needs. At Geisinger, what I’ve seen is concierge care with the same level of attention to detail, for the masses. For example, we just learned we overtook Switzerland and we’re best in the world in anticoagulation therapy for stroke patients. So we have world-class outcomes delivered in a cost-effective manner.

MH: Could you describe Geisinger’s genetic research program and its ethical issues?

Feinberg: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals picked us as a partner because families have stayed here for generations, often in the same house or on the same block. We have 20 years of electronic health-record information, 15 years of radiological data and 30 years of health plan claims data. We ask our families, “Would you allow us to look at your DNA?” We’ve had a 90% positive response rate. Next calendar year, we’ll have 250,000 patients with genomic, clinical and administrative information recorded, with most of their family members in the same study.

SOURCE: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150912/MAGAZINE/309129946/aiming-to-provide-concierge-care-for-the-masses

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