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President's Corner - Spring 2018

By Frank Gallagher, Director of Provider Recruitment, AtlantiCare

Frank Gallagher


Grammy Award-winning musician Michael W. Smith once said, “Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people.” The same holds true in healthcare. As you know, this year’s conference theme, “Transforming healthcare in our communities,” intentionally aligns with the ASPR vision statement, ”Healthcare is transformed in our communities.” Healthcare transformation impacts all of us on multiple levels — at the national level we are witnessing a “merger mania” of sorts. During the month of December 2017 alone, five major mergers were proposed in a period of only eight days. These mergers not only included traditional partnerships among large healthcare delivery systems (think Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health) but not-so-typical marriages involving major players from the retail and insurance sectors (think CVS and Aetna).

Transformation also includes the ongoing shift toward value-based reimbursement with incentives for providers to keep people healthy (and out of the hospital) while coordinating care across the entire delivery spectrum. As you know, this shift is in stark contrast to the long-standing model where providers were incentivized by the number of RVUs they could generate for each encounter. Transforming healthcare, of course, means a sincere shift away from this type of volumebased reimbursement, or fee-for-service model, which we now know contributes little to the overall health and well-being of our global patient population.

At a local level, healthcare transformation means an obligation on all of us to do our jobs and — more importantly — do them well. Despite the amount of change or disruption we are experiencing in our daily work lives, our teams are charged with coming up with new and inventive ways to continue to attract talented providers to our organizations and match them with experiences affording them the opportunity to stay and impact healthcare in our communities. Importantly, as ASPR members, we know first-hand the advantages we have around the sharing of new and innovative strategies, tactics, and best practices allowing all of us the chance to make a difference. And while “chaos” may be the term that best describes the amount of change in healthcare today, I for one, am driven to keep my friends, neighbors and family — our patients — front of mind. Because of them, I must hold myself accountable to do all that I can on a daily basis to impact their wellbeing. This remains, for now, the only part of transformation I can control.

In my last President’s corner message, I referenced a “reflect and renew” approach which still holds true and then some. So, I’ll add a strong recommendation to make sure we “recharge our batteries” because I have a feeling this “transformation thing” is going to be an interesting ride. I hope to see you at this year’s conference!