Special Briefing

Reengineering Health Care Delivery: What Lies Ahead?
October 14, 2011


Lisa Sprague, MBA


Like a handful of organizations often referred to as visions of the future, Geisinger Health System has become a destination of choice for many considering new ways of doing business, including Washington policymakers and others in the industry. What’s at work here, they want to know. Is this an anomaly, born of necessity and special regional circumstances or the product of a hard-driving CEO, one who believes that care of much greater value can be provided at significantly reduced cost? Either way, the results are impressive. Geisinger is routinely cited for delivering high-quality, efficient care. Still, a question often posed—by admirers and skeptics alike—is why aren’t more emulating Geisinger and other systems like them?

CEO Glenn Steele thinks the answer is conceptually straightforward—government and other payers simply aren’t demanding enough. It’s too easy to make money, he says, and lots of it, while doing things of little or no value, and providing poor quality at that. Estimating that there is as much as 30 to 40 percent waste in the way most care is delivered today, Dr. Steele looks at average premium increases of 9 percent this year and wonders how much more insurers can continue to pass along, or that individuals and other payers including government can afford.  Something has to give soon, he argues. In this briefing Dr. Steele shared his ideas for the kinds of changes needed, from the industry and the government, to address today’s immense cost problem head-on.


Glenn D. Steele, Jr., MD, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Geisinger Health System

Slides from Dr. Steele's presentation are available for download.

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