Ernesto Vazquez, MD, is set to play the top clinical leadership role at MercyOne Population Health Services Organization (PHSO).
MercyOne PHSO was launched in 2012 and has a portfolio of direct-to-employer, commercial, and government value- and risk-based contracts covering more than 300,000 patients of the MercyOne health system. The PHSO’s Partnered Provider Network has decreased healthcare spending by more than $150 million, according to the Clive, Iowa-based health system.
Vazquez is taking on the CMO position at MercyOne PHSO following the retirement of David Swieskowski, MD, who played a broad leadership role at the PHSO including CMO responsibilities. Vazquez joined MercyOne in 2011, serving as a physician at MercyOne Clive Family Medicine Clinic and a member of the MercyOne Clinics quality committee.
Before joining MercyOne, Vazquez was a primary care physician at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, where he served in several leadership roles such as a member of the medical executive committee. He earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
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Vazquez recently spoke with HealthLeaders to share his perspectives on PHSO operations. The following is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation.
HL: From a clinical viewpoint, what are the key elements of successful value-based contracting?
One important clinical element is having the right information. Every health system is very complex, and we need to make sure that we have the right information.
Another important aspect of value-based contracting from a clinical perspective is making sure you have the infrastructure to take care of patients from a holistic standpoint. It’s not enough to take care of a patient medically. You have to be able to provide needed resources. For example, if there are gaps in housing, you need to have a social support system or social work system to be able to help the patient.
You also need to communicate with the payers to make sure that what we are doing is appropriate and that our services are being considered fairly. Payers need to be able to give feedback on a real-time basis; so that if there are deficiencies, we are given the opportunity to correct them. This feedback not only improves patient care but also allows us to benefit from value-based contracts.
Source: HealthLeaders Media