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People in the News

March 14, 2007
by root
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Aurora Health Care looks to avoid headaches by outsourcing wireless support.

Uncommon Man — James Mongan Joins the Board

Health policy expert James Mongan, M.D., has been named to the New York-based Commonwealth Fund board of directors.James Mongan

Mongan is president and CEO of Partners HealthCare in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and an integrated health system founded in 1994 by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centers and a physician network, as well as home health and long-term-care services.

A professor of healthcare policy and a professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School, Mongan also serves as chairman of the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System.

From 1996 to 2002, Mongan was president of the largest and oldest teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital. Before his tenure at MGH, Mongan was executive director of the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City for 15 years.

Roll Out the Carpet for Robie

Matt Robie has been named executive director for Valley Baptist Health Plans (VBHP), Harlingen, Texas.Matt Robie

VBHP is an affiliate of Schaller Anderson, Incorporated (SAI) of Phoenix, which administers physical and behavioral healthcare for Medicaid, Medicare, commercial and employer self-funded plans. Robie was previously director of operations for Schaller Anderson Healthcare. Founded in 1997, VBHP is a locally owned and operated HMO with a network of more than 900 physicians, thousands of caregivers and seven hospitals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

From Chair to Chair

Rick Reeves of Mobile, Ala.-based CPSI is going from senior clinical manager to vice chair of the Chicago-based HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors' Association (EHRVA) Government Relations Work Group.Rick Reeves

In his new position, Reeves will participate in the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Government Round Table meetings as a liaison for the EHRVA and HIMSS. Reeves is a member of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology Inpatient Functionality Work Group.


Dennis O'Leary Dennis O'Leary, president and CEO of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, says he will retire from his position at the end of 2007.

Under his leadership, the Joint Commission has transformed its accreditation process to focus on organization performance in the provision of patient care. This transformation has set the stage for the introduction of care-related outcomes and process measures, as well as national patient safety goals, into the accreditation process.

Prior to joining the Joint Commission, O'Leary served as dean for Clinical Affairs at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and vice president of the George Washington University Health Plan.

DM Experts Ponder Path Ahead

Disease management, as an industry, has come a long way, but not nearly as far as it needs to, according to experts presenting at the 3rd Annual Disease Management Colloquium held in Philadelphia in May.William Popik, M.D.

Plenary presenters at the event, which was sponsored by the Department of Health Policy, Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, focused on two assessments of the industry. One, the healthcare delivery system as we know it is fundamentally flawed and needs reevaluation. Second, the disease management industry segment is little better.

“We are as unprepared in disease management as New Orleans was for Katrina,” says William Popik, M.D., president-elect of the Disease Management Association of America, Hartford, Conn., and former chief medical officer of Aetna Inc., also headquartered in Hartford.

Disease management has followed the classic definition of disruptive technology by flying under the radar, Popik said, but even today disease management revenues are small compared with other revenue streams. This may explain why it's as freely defined and structured as it is. However, “As consumers have increased financial responsibilities, they will have increased expectations — and this is a huge challenge,” he added.

Monitoring Markets on the Move

Demand for patient-monitoring systems in the United States is estimated to increase 5.4 percent annually to $9.1 billion in 2010, as advances in wireless and sensor technologies support fast-expanding product lines.

With the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes and care-delivery efficiencies, patient-monitoring procedures are also expected to increase across the healthcare market. Also growing is the market for self-monitoring devices for chronic-care patients, especially those with diabetes and heart disorders.