Partners HealthCare CEO Gary Gottlieb, MD, recently spoke with Modern Healthcare about some of the strategies we’ve pursued to expand access to affordable health care, closer to our patients’ homes.
One major effort of recent years has involved implementing population health management across our system. This serves a greater goal, as Dr. Gottlieb explained. “Collectively, there's been a spirit of redesigning the front end of care, serving patients in medical homes with care managers, allowing us to reduce total medical expenses.”
Another way we’re improving care delivery, increasing efficiency and reducing costs is by pursuing partnerships with community hospitals. Dr. Gottlieb told Modern Healthcare why this practice works for our patients:
In Massachusetts, a lot of care historically has been delivered in the academic medical centers. The most efficient use of their resources is to provide tertiary and highly specialized services. Our vision is to create medical villages where primary-care doctors and patients in medical homes are clustered around easy-to-access services. We want to have a community hospital available to these patients closer to their homes, offering superb service at lower expense.
In addition to bringing care closer to patients’ homes, expanding access to care is just as important. Dr. Gottlieb explained how our acquisition of Neighborhood Health Plan has helped us achieve that goal:
The real interest was that Neighborhood Health Plan is a Medicaid managed-care plan. It's deeply part of our mission to take care of all patients. We've been able to learn from the insurance side how one redesigns services to manage the care of high-risk patients.
In 2015, we’ll transition from Dr. Gottlieb’s leadership to that of a new CEO, but as an organization, we’ll continue the work our system has already begun. “There's a shared vision [at Partners] to figure out a pathway to protect and nurture our mission, which is to bring the best and the brightest people to care for the sickest and neediest populations and to inform that care with science and invest in training,” said Dr. Gottlieb. We’re committed to pursuing that vision.
Dr. Gottlieb will be leaving Partners next year to become CEO of Partners In Health, a global health organization. He describes his new role as “the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“My wife, who's the head of public and community psychiatry at Massachusetts General, said, ‘You gotta do this. This is why we became doctors. This is what you are so passionate about.’ I thought this is what I would love to do in the last phase of my career.”
Read Dr. Gottlieb’s full interview in Modern Healthcare.