Lessons In Leadership: Ron Williams Shares excerpts from His Book (Releasing in May) and His Best Leadership Advice.
agilon health chairman, Ron Williams, and author of Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others and Leading an Organization (releasing in May), shares excerpts from his book about his best leadership advice with Thrive Global. In addition to his perspectives on leadership, Ron also shared his recommendations for the U.S. healthcare industry in saying “My personal view is that we need to get value back into the health care equation. We need to pay based on the value provided versus the number of services provided. agilon health, ….., is a company based in California working on physician-centric models for value-based health care. Read more about the interview with Ron Williams here.
Bill, Wulf, MD, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care Shares Inspiring Stories from the COPC Senior Care Advantage 60 Strong Ambassadors and the Practice’s Focus on Creating an Innovative and Unique Model of Care for Seniors in the Greater Columbus, Ohio area.
So we get a little inspiration from the 60 Strong calendar. Learn about this inspiring project and how it hopes to inspire you at www.connectedseniorcareadvantage.com
Click here to watch one of our 60 Strong ambassadors sharing his inspiring story.
60 Strong Campaign, introduced in Columbus, Akron and Austin, as a public service initiative to promote wellness among baby boomers is another example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.
The pages of the calendar reveal a new year…and for many Baby Boomers, “take better care of myself” is likely on their 2019 resolution list. Exemplifying that is a dynamic group of 60 somethings in Columbus, Akron, and Austin – seniors who prove that a positive attitude helps them overcome the debilitating effects of chronic health conditions and live a longer, more productive life.
In an effort to “pay it forward,” these beacons of tenacity — ranging in age from 60 to 69 — are showing the world that it’s all about mindset and spreading the word to other seniors who have chronic health issues. The 60 Strong Ambassadors were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges to be highlighted in a 2019 calendar featuring activities and events that many seniors enjoy.
Ben Barlin, a 60 Strong Ambassador in Austin, was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. Ben could have easily become immobilized with self-pity. Instead, he decided to climb mountains. “To get my spirit back, I decided to summit Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere,” he says.
The 60 Strong Ambassadors program is the brainchild of agilon health. The 60 Strong initiative was launched as a public service by agilon health with its partnership practices: Austin Regional Clinic and Premier Family Physicians, Austin; Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians, Columbus; and Pioneer Physicians Network, Akron; to transform the way they care for seniors. Sixty Strong Calendar Contests are slated for several other markets, including Pittsburg and Dayton, in 2019.
Kevin Spencer, M.D., Medical Director for the Austin-based partnership with agilon health and Chairman of the Board of Premier Family Physicians, says, “Like Ben, all of our winners in the 60 Strong Campaign are very inspiring. Although many of them struggle with debilitating health issues, they all make fitness a priority and remain positive about the future. Some have founded their own charities, and all are donating time to non-profits and their communities.”
The Ambassadors speak at Medicare expos and senior events, and while their life challenges differ, they all have a common message about the importance of preventing chronic disease and maintaining good health, which is a growing concern in this age group.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports three in four US adults aged 65 and older have a chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Those numbers are expected to rise significantly with a rapidly growing population and increased life expectancy in the U.S. The Population Reference Bureau estimates the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double from 46 million today to 98 million by 2060.
Angela Bosela, an Akron 60 Strong Ambassador who had 70% of her stomach removed in 2007 and endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments, was inspired to become a competitive runner.
“After cheering for my daughter at a race, I was motivated to start running,” Angela says. “I’ve now completed 200 races, including a marathon and 15 half marathons, and I often place in my age group.”
Angela is also a volunteer counselor for stomach cancer survivors, and she and her husband Paul founded the Ohio Chapter of Debbie’s Dream Foundation, an organization that provides support to stomach cancer patients and their families.
Some of the 60 Strong Ambassadors are grief counselors; they also serve as spokespersons about Medicare coverage and other healthcare decisions and emphasize the importance of annual physicals, regular screenings, and exercise.
The last point is critical. According to the CDC, one-third of older adults do not get regular physical activity.
In gratitude for their newfound lease on life, the 60 Strong Ambassadors are literally paying it forward,” says Bill Wulf, M.D., CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians. “The 60s are a difficult period — it’s often the first time people experience real health struggles. The Ambassadors have already experienced adversity, so they provide encouragement to others and give them hope.”
Ron Kuerbitz, agilon health CEO, was featured in the 2019 Healthcare Predictions, released by Canton & Company. The publication delivers perspectives from prominent thought leaders in the industry as well as insights from two of the top physician leaders in the United States.
Along with Ron Kuerbitz’s perspectives, the 2019 Healthcare Predictions includes commentaries from Bruce Leff, MD, Director for The Center for Transformative Geriatric Research at Johns Hopkins, Don McDaniel, Canton & Company CEO, David Nash, MD, Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, and Jon Zimmerman, President of Virence Health Technologies.
Here is what Ron had to share.
1. What is your outlook for healthcare in 2019? What will change or not?
Overall, I am tremendously bullish for the industry’s abilities to deliver on the quadruple aim, and I expect the current tailwinds to continue. We see pockets of significant innovation across the landscape, the current administration appears to be introducing the right constructs and policies to reward quality and efficiency, and leading practices have shown that investments in coordinating care and identifying and managing outlier populations can effectively bend the cost curve.
On the other hand, we should closely monitor the hardships endured by the majority of physicians who still today practice in smaller independent practices. Many find it difficult to make the necessary investments to make a sustainable transition to managing total cost and quality of care. I especially worry that physician burnout and frustration with the transition to risk will increase for most of these providers.
2. Why will these trends continue?
We continue to closely watch the policymaking coming out of Washington. We applaud the administration’s support for the growth of Medicare Advantage and for the continued enablement of providers to assume more risk for the traditional Medicare population. Those trends will continue to support investment into integrated payment and care delivery that are critical to the sustainability of our healthcare system. Our physician partners and health plan collaborators recognize that we are at an important inflection point, and both are committed to working together to create an innovative, yet efficient, delivery system.
I believe, however, the most significant risk we have to fulfilling our mission of achieving the highest-quality value-based care at national scale is the leap required to fully integrate healthcare financing with the provision of care.
I consistently see practices and health systems struggle to operationalize a gradual glide path to risk. I don’t think that’s possible. I believe that practices must be positioned to make significant upfront investments in infrastructure and physician incentives, and without that, are likely to experience a growing sense of burnout and frustration in managing risk. These providers – caught with one leg on the fee-for-service dock and one in the value-based care boat – are doing a lot of work, but they’re not seeing a lot of improvement in their quality of life at work or sustainability in the investments they’ve had to make to support this kind of transition.
This is especially prevalent in primary care. Recent studies report up to 65% of family practice physicians are experiencing burnout. Think about the systems in place today; they aren’t designed for physicians to be optimally effective.
Physicians are managing patients in different lines of business, across numerous payers, in various reimbursement arrangements. The multiplicity of processes, the impossibility of making the right investment, and the inability to change these circumstances is overwhelming and a catalyst for burnout.
3. What impact will this have?
As I said earlier, I’m extremely bullish for the practices and health systems that have taken the leap and made the necessary investments to be successful in true value-based care. I see that physicians have more time to spend with the right patients at the right time. As a result, these physicians are being rewarded for their mastery and sense of purpose and have the capability to make the right investments to sustain their practice and improve their engagement with patients.
However, today these successful practices are still among the minority. The vast majority of others are seemingly caught in a vicious cycle of too little time and insufficient resources to make the leap to risk. They are inclined to become disenchanted with new team-based care models and protocols and might regress back to a focus on pure fee-for-service economics and paradigms.
4. What advice do you have for industry stakeholders who want to prepare for the forecast you’ve outlined today?
For industry veterans like myself, we’ve never seen a time where there are such significant tailwinds for improving our healthcare delivery system. Our technologies, policies, capabilities, and economics are highly aligned around quality and efficiency. But we need to take advantage of it, and as such, we need to embrace a mindset change. We’re going to have to become collaborators with one another and build better partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities before us. We need to get physicians constructively engaged in the transition from fee-for-service to risk. We have to think about providing support to get them into organized systems on terms that make sense to them.
It’s akin to when the Detroit automotive manufacturers embraced vendors in the supply chain. They realized collaboration needed to happen for quality and value to improve. Vendors started attending design sessions and really participating as partners with the manufacturers. The result was quality cars built at lower prices that better met consumer needs. They understood that simply squeezing your counterparts doesn’t create value.
Healthcare stakeholders can partake in that kind of thinking – it’s the fundamental change that needs to happen.
MDX Hawaii, an agilon health platform company, introduced Excellence in Kupuna Care in 2018 to recognize the high performing physicians in six quality care metrics. This campaign is just one example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.
The January 9th issue of MidWeek highlights Excellence In Kupuna Care, an annual physician recognition program, introduced in 2018 by MDX Hawaii to acknowledge and celebrate the high performing primary care physicians throughout the Hawaii who excel in six quality care metrics. This campaign is just one example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.
Excellence in Kupuna Care
The selection criteria included six aspects of medical care which are important for patients over the age of 65.
The primary care physicians recognized in the campaign demonstrated excellence in:
- Providing patients access to primary care services through flexible office hours, phone availability during non-business hours, and helpful office staff which reduces the frequency in which their patients utilize the emergency room.
- Closely managing chronic conditions, as measured by the number of their patients with acceptable blood pressure and glucose levels
- Recognizing the importance of follow-up visits with primary care physicians after discharge from the hospital to ensure patients understand the changes in medications, diet or lifestyle and patient care is monitored and coordinated.
- Offering preventative care and patient education through the performance of annual wellness visits for their Medicare patients.
- Rendering preventive screenings to identify disease early, such as breast and colon cancers, as well as the performance of routine Influenza immunizations.
The 2018 honorees are:
Emergency Department Utilization: Jinichi Tokeshi M.D., ManKwan Wong M.D.
Chronic Disease Quality Measures: Elizaga V. Fortunato M.D., Chang-Dich Lai M.D., Sharon Lawler M.D.
Annual Wellness Visits: Jose De Leon M.D., Chang-Dich Lai M.D.
Access to Care/Frequency of Primary Care Visits: Pon Sang Chan M.D.
Preventive Care: Kimberly K. Lund M.D., Maria C. Ilar-Revilla M.D.
The transition of Care Post Hospital Discharge: Keiichi Kobayashi M.D.
Quality healthcare starts in the primary care physician’s office. Congratulations to 10 primary care physicians who have been recognized for demonstrating their commitment to proving quality care to Medicare beneficiaries
For more information about the Excellence in Kupuna Care campaign, click here.
To read the MidWeek article, click here.
Akron Fox 8 News Interviews Gary Pinta, MD, President of agilon health Partner Practice, Pioneer Physicians Network, and Two Paradigm Senior Care Advantage 60Strong Ambassadors.
agilon health is proud to share a news segment from our partnership and care delivery network in Akron, Paradigm Senior Care Advantage. In partnership with a local leading primary care practice, Pioneer Physicians Network, this segment celebrates the leadership of practice CEO, Gary Pinta, MD, and two of twelve 60Strong ambassadors, who are featured on a 2019 calendar. The 60 Strong Ambassadors, who range in age from 60 to 69, were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges, and embody how life after 60 can be vibrant and active time. Watch the segment here.
agilon health launched the 60Strong initiative as a public service for seniors and to raise awareness for its physician partner’s commitment to expanded and highly coordinated senior care.