HL20: George Halvorson—Expectations for Success

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , December 11, 2013

Most of Kaiser enrollees use the electronic system, doing so more than 100 million times per year to schedule appointments, get lab results, exchange e-mail with their doctors. That, too, Halvorson says, was a project that others in Kaiser said "we probably shouldn't be putting resources into."

A third accomplishment about which he takes pride is the way in which KP has shared what it knows with others outside the organization. "We didn't just make a success, but we told others what we had done, creating an expectation that it can be done."

With all of this accomplished, Halvorson has been busy recording it in a collection of books, which he says "help educate people outside KP about healthcare reform issues. One explores the three "B" reasons for healthcare disparities, which he explains are biology, behavior, and bias.

"African Americans are half as likely to get an intervention quickly; that's not biology or behavior, it's just bias and needs to be fixed. But African American women are more likely to get multiple sclerosis. That's biology."

Another book is on healthcare costs, which he calls "a recipe for the next stage of healthcare improvement," in which payers begin paying for care "by the package instead of by the piece."

Halvorson also plans to spend more time fly fishing and on boats—power and sail—that he keeps at his waterfront homes in Minnesota and Sausalito, Calif.

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