Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Commentary: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Alexis Skoufalos, EdD
Associate Dean for Continuing Professional Education
Jefferson School of Population Health

Thursday, July 21st was sunny and stiflingly hot – one of the most brutal summer days we’ve experienced in Philadelphia in many years. And yet, over 150 of JSPH’s colleagues came together on the Jefferson campus to share with us their thoughts about important issues in population health.

In an odd way, it was a birthday party of sorts. July marks JSPH’s birthday month – it was only 3 years ago that we toasted the beginning of our journey to create a new school dedicated to educating leaders that would help us improve the quality of health and health care in America.

In that time, we’ve developed new academic programs, published two books, convened multiple conferences, conducted cutting-edge research, added stellar new leaders, faculty and staff to our team, and encouraged some of our most valued colleagues as they moved on to new endeavors.

In 3 short years, we have assembled a diverse and talented team with a passion for making meaningful change. The challenges we face have only become more complex in the last few years, and the stakes have never been higher.

While we have much to celebrate, there is so much more to do. And we can’t do it alone; we need to hear from you about the type information you need, the challenges you face that we can help address, and the programs we should focus on in the future.

We are committed to making a world of difference in health care. Let us know how we can help you by contacting any one of the leaders listed below.

JSPH Program Contacts:

Caroline Golab, PhD
Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs
(215) 503-8468

Joseph D. Jackson, PhD
Program Director, Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research
(215) 955-4755

Kathryn M. Kash, PhD
Program Director, Chronic Care Management
(215) 955-9549

Mark Legnini, DrPH
Director, Center for Value in Healthcare
(215) 955-0427

David B. Nash, MD, MBA
Dean, Jefferson School of Population Health
(215) 955-6969

James Pelegano, MD, MS
Program Director, Healthcare Quality and Safety
(215) 955-3888

Rob Simmons, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH
Program Director, Public Health
(215) 955-7312

Alexis Skoufalos, EdD
Associate Dean for Continuing Professional Education
(215) 955-2822

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More on Accountable Care Organizations

The Jefferson School of Population Health just finished hosting a special two day invitation only advisory board on the current status of Health Reform. We had one dozen experts from all around the nation convene on our campus for a two day discussion of the details and an update on implementation challenges. It was sobering indeed!! At this juncture, I believe that most organizations are NOT culturally ready for the hard work of true accountability.The heart of a real ACO, whether with Medicare or commercial patients, is the realization that clinicians will have to self evaluate, measure what they do everyday, and be willing to engage in the gut bustingly difficult work of improvement. The "shared savings" may in fact be minimal, especially in the early stages. It will take a commitment to practicing based on the evidence and a willingness to benchmark performance against regional and national leaders. A tall order for any organization and in my view, most are not at all ready for this cultural paradigm shift. Who will make it---organizations with a hierarchical doctor culure, accustomed to profiling and willing to police members within their own ranks. The Ochsners, Geisingers and Mayos of the world will be able to make it work, very few others have the skill sets necessary at this juncture. Stay tuned for more posts from our amazing advisory board and for publications that will come from our deliberations together. DAVID NASH