California Health Chief Looks Within For Solution To Rising Health Costs

Date: February 16, 2013||   0  Comments

A hundred managers at Scripps Health jam shoulder-to-shoulder into a vending-machine break room in San Diego. CEO Chris Van Gorder goes at them like a football coach down by 3 at halftime.

“What are we trying to do in our health care system?”

“Reduce costs!”

“Why?”

“Health care is too expensive.”

“The solution is going to come from Washington D.C., right?”

“Ha ha ha ha.”

“Sacramento then, right?”

“Ha.”

“The solution,” says Van Gorder, pumping an index figure toward his team, “is going to come from right here.”

Van Gorder, an ex-cop turned hospital executive, rescued troubled Scripps from near insolvency a dozen years ago as its new CEO. Now, he’s put Scripps in the middle of a cultural transformation aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year by – get this – coaxing physicians and managers at Scripps to work together, and standardizing care across every hospital in the system.

Corny? Yeah. But a health care industry so expensive it threatens to bankrupt the nation could use some corny, if that’s what it takes to get hospital management’s attention.

And they could use the attention. The health care industry is the worst managed in America. It wastes near $765 billion a year due to inefficiencies, mistakes, duplicative and unnecessary services and fraud, according to the Institute of Medicine. That’s nearly a third of total health care spending.

via Kaiser Health News | continue reading

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