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What Geisinger CEO David Feinberg accomplished before leaving for Google

Geisinger has appointed Dr. Jaewon Ryu as interim president and CEO of Geisinger, effective December 1.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Geisinger CEO David Feinberg is leaving the system January 3 to assume a leadership position at Google, Geisinger said Thursday.

Feinberg is reportedly taking on a newly-created role leading health strategy at Google.

Geisinger has appointed Dr. Jaewon Ryu as interim president and chief executive officer, effective December 1. Ryu has served as executive vice president and chief medical officer at Geisinger since September 2016. He previously served as president of Integrated Care Delivery for Humana.

Feinberg will help facilitate a smooth transition, Geisinger said.

In June, Feinberg reportedly turned down the offer of CEO of the new healthcare company formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.

Feinberg said he remained committed to staying at Geisinger, where he has been since 2015.

Dr. Atul Gawande leads the nonprofit healthcare venture formed by the big three. Gawande is the opening keynote speaker at the HIMSS19 Global Conference in February.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Geisinger is an integrated physician-led system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Feinberg's role at Google will be to coordinate all of the tech giant's healthcare-related initiatives, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Amazon venture is already viewed as a major industry disrupter.  With Feinberg in the new healthcare strategy role, Google has signaled a growing commitment to being a competitive leader in this space.

THE BIG PICTURE

Feinberg has a track record on patient experience.

At Geisinger, Feinberg talked about the importance of having a consumer centric billing approach and aiming for a consolidated bill.

In 2015, Feinberg launched a refund program for patients who had not been met with "kindness and compassion." The pilot was an expansion to the system's ProvenCare program, which was designed to improve population health and to reduce readmissions and mortality rates using evidence-base methods.

By the next year, Geisinger had given $80,000 to displeased patients.

In an interview given in 2016 to Healthcare IT News, Feinberg said the evolution of population health held the promise of  "anticipatory medicine."

This March, Geisinger and St. Luke's University Health Network partnered on a joint venture for an 80-bed acute care hospital equipped with an emergency department and a full range of specialties and hospital services.

The deal was a blueprint for what regional systems can do to expand their footprints with the complications or cost of a merger.

ON THE RECORD

"It has been a great privilege to lead Geisinger during the past nearly four years. Together, we have improved patient and member experience, along with our quality of care, employee engagement and physician and nurse recruitment, and our legacy of innovation has blossomed," Feinberg said.

Ryu said, "When I joined Geisinger more than two years ago, I knew I was joining an organization with a longstanding national reputation for advancing medicine through innovation."

Board Chairman John C. Bravman said, "Dr. Feinberg has led Geisinger through a significant period of transformation focusing on developing innovative programs and models to further our mission of value- and community-based care that ensures we are positioned to serve our communities well into the future. We are deeply appreciative of his service to Geisinger, and we wish him only the best."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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