Gary Gottlieb


Gottlieb Leaving Partners HealthCare For Partners In Health

Partners CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb

Partners CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb

The CEO at Partners HealthCare, the state’s largest private employer, plans to step down.

Dr. Gary Gottlieb agreed Friday to become the CEO at Partners in Health, a global health organization whose latest project is an Ebola response effort in West Africa.

Gottlieb is scheduled to make the transition on July 1, 2015. His decision comes amid acourt review of Partners’ controversial expansion plans and questions about Gottlieb’s ability to manage political dynamics outside the hospital network.

His supporters point out that Gottlieb has just begun his second five-year contract, and they say Partners board members urged Gottlieb to stay. But some current and former Partners leaders say dissatisfaction with Gottlieb’s leadership has been building for months and that the Partners in Health job offers Gottlieb a graceful way out.

He will take a dramatic pay cut, from more than $2 million a year to $200,000 a year at Partners in Health.

Gottlieb serves on the board at Partners in Health, has visited the group’s projects in Haiti and Rwanda, and calls it the most important global health initiative in the world.

“This is a singular opportunity to lead that organization at a time when it is clear that improving sustainable health care throughout the world is critical to all of us,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb says he began thinking seriously about moving to Partners in Health this summer, and decided to make the change earlier in the fall after hearing Partners in Health co-founder Paul Farmer describe what was happening in West Africa.

“With Ebola, maternal deaths had increased because there was no place for people to deliver babies,” said Gottlieb. “Malaria deaths had increased because there was no way to provide the appropriate care for what is a more ordinary terrible disease. The notion that building sustainable health care was essential for real social justice and real change had become even more obvious.” Continue reading

Agreement Allows But Limits Partners Growth, Caps Prices To 2020

This just in from the Associated Press:

BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley has reached an agreement with Partners HealthCare, the largest hospital and physicians’ network in Massachusetts, that will allow it to acquire South Shore Hospital and Hallmark Health Systems.
Coakley says the deal will also fundamentally alter the negotiating power of Partners for the next decade and help control health care costs.
Monday’s agreement must be finalized by the parties by June 16 and approved by a court before taking effect.
The deal includes capping health costs at the rate of inflation across the entire Partners network through 2020.

And this from the Health Policy Commission

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Agreement in Principle with Partners HealthCare

Statement of Dr. Stuart H. Altman, Chair, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission:

“I am pleased the comprehensive settlement described by the Attorney General addresses concerns raised in our recent cost and market impact review report. Our objective, data-driven review, referred to the AG in February, found that the acquisition of South Shore Hospital by Partners HealthCare System will increase health care spending, likely reduce market competition, and result in increased premiums for employers and consumers. I look forward to reviewing a final agreement, but I believe the AG and the parties have taken our work into account in developing the conditions under which this transaction can move forward. The HPC will continue to assess the impact of provider market changes and work with the AG to foster a more competitive health system for the benefit of Massachusetts consumers and businesses.”

A message from Partners Healthcare chief Dr. Gary Gottlieb lays out some details:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share some important news concerning an agreement in principle that Partners HealthCare has reached today with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. We have been engaged in discussions with her office related to our mergers with South Shore Hospital (SSH), Hallmark Health System (HHS) and Harbor Medical Associates (HMA). The regulators have also been reviewing our contracts with non-employed physicians to understand the extent of their partnership with us. Continue reading

The CEO Checklist For Better Medical Care

(IOM -- The CEO Checklist)

Checklists are all the rage in medicine these days.

The simple concept — that a short, well-crafted list of basic but critical items can help focus even the most accomplished doctor and improve care — was pioneered by Dr. Peter Pronovost, of Johns Hopkins and popularized by Dr. Atul Gawande, the New Yorker writer and surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Gawande wrote about checklists for surgery, among others. And recently, a study came out on an effective, World Health Organization-backed checklist for childbirth.

Today, the Institute of Medicine releases a new paper: A CEO Checklist for High-Value Care , written by 11 hospital chiefs, among them Gary Gottlieb, the president and CEO of Partners HealthCare System, Inc.

But a surgical checklist, which includes things like identifying the patient and surgical site and making sure all the sponges are accounted for after an operation, may be simpler and more practical then establishing a “culture of continuous improvement — commitment to ongoing, real-time learning,” which is #2 on the CEO’s Checklist.

Indeed the IOM paper notes: “The strategies in this Checklist are not, of course, of the “one-and-done” variety. Rather, the items we present here are elements that must become core components of an organization’s DNA.”

But if an institution’s DNA actually does evolve, care improves, according to these CEOs, and costs decline as certain wasteful practices are eliminated.

For instance, the paper notes two examples involving Partners:

1. Partners HealthCare’s Connected Cardiac Care Program (CCCP) is a home monitoring program for heart failure (HF) patients at risk for hospitalization. CCCP’s core components are care coordination, education, and development of self- management skills through the use of telemonitoring. Patients use home monitoring equipment to submit weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and symptoms on a daily basis.
• Better care: 51 percent reduction in HF hospital readmission; 44 percent reduction in non-HF hospital readmission
• Lower costs: More than $10 million in savings to date ($8,155 per patient)

2. Partners participated in a 3-year demonstration project to test strategies to improve the coordination of high-cost Medicare patients. To help primary care physicians manage these patients, case managers were integrated into primary care practices. Case managers developed personal relationships with enrolled patients and worked closely with physicians to help identify gaps in patient care, coordinate providers and services, facilitate communication (especially during transitions), and help educate patients and providers.
• Better care: 20 percent reduction in admissions; 13 percent reduction in ED visits
• Lower costs: $2.65 saved for every $1 spent; 7 percent net savings for each patient in the program

Key Executive At Partners HealthCare Steps Down, Heads To Harvard

Tom Glynn is stepping down as Partners COO

Tom Glynn, the longtime chief operating officer at the state’s dominant health care network, Partners HealthCare, will step down at the end of the year to teach at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, according to a letter from Partners president and CEO Gary Gottlieb. In addition to his main job as COO, Mr. Glynn, who has been with the organization since 1996, has also acted as an important strategist on political and other critical matters.

Here’s the letter from Dr. Gottlieb, announcing the departure:

Dear Colleagues,

Last year at this time when Partners HealthCare was preparing for the CEO transition, Tom Glynn, our Chief Operating Officer, shared with me his aspiration to return to his greatest passions, public service and higher education. Given the tumultuous environment we faced, I prevailed upon him to stay and help our leadership team through the organizational change ahead.

Now as we move forward with our strategic plans, and as we enter a new fiscal year, Tom has informed me that he is ready to step into the next phase of his career; he will leave his fulltime responsibilities at the end of the year, using the time until then to help with the transition. Tom will be teaching at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and serving as a Senior Fellow for Health Care Delivery Reform at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

Over the last nearly fifteen years, Tom has been a remarkable leader and partner to all four Partners’ CEOs as well as the leaders of all of our member organizations. Continue reading