Q&A: Scripps CEO on Strategic Appeal of a Regional Medical Center

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , November 6, 2013

HLM: Will population health be a priority, and how might you go about improving population health?

CVG: Population health is going to be an issue for everybody across the country. We are in this era now where we need to look at value. Today's healthcare system I often describe as a sick business. If you're not sick we are out of business. We are moving into an era where we focus on keeping people well and that requires population health management. That means intervening earlier in our patients lives to try to do everything we can to keep them well.

See Also: Intelligence Report: Population Health Management–Steps to Risk Sharing and Data Analytics

We anticipate that we will reach out with wireless technologies, video conferencing, and other [telehealth] capabilities to lower costs of care, reach more patients in that community and bring more services to that community. I have never believed that it is the best for a patient to have to leave their community to receive care. Certainly they are not going to have every tertiary and quaternary service.

A number of patients will still come to San Diego. But under Scripps leadership, we think we can bring new services to that community and meet that community's much closer to their homes. It's the right thing to do… assuming we can put this transaction together.

HLM: Do you anticipate cutting some services or downsizing ECRMC?

CVG: Over time, every inpatient hospital is going to shrink. But there will clearly be an expansion of ambulatory services. El Centro understands that already and they have already invested in a number of ambulatory sites. I would anticipate growth in that area. We still have to do some work under the California Seismic Safety Law out there and eventually, probably, we will build a brand new hospital. When that happens, we will work with the community to determine what their needs are for inpatient and ambulatory care.

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