A Different Kind of Health Caring (Part 2)
Earlier this month, we sat down with Peg Stessman, StrategicHealthSolutions (Strategic) CEO and Founder, to hear her take on what she sees as the biggest threat to our nation’s health care system today — the sustainability of our Medicaid and Medicare programs. See part 2 of this interview, below.
Strategic: How does the company continue to provide value to taxpayers and the government, particularly to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)?
Peg: One of our themes, the power of insight, is also our tag line. We are a go-to company for government solutions. When we are dealing with our customer — the government — we want them to think of us as someone who can provide solutions when they have a problem. We want them to come to us, think of us, rely on us, and trust in us because they know we’re going to come through for them. We always want to be one of the handful of contractors that is on their list of go-to companies.
Strategic: How would you reassure health care providers that we are on the same side, even if they receive an audit from Strategic?
Peg: There are a lot of myths about what we do. I want to dispel those with the realities of what we actually do. My overall goal is that when we send out an audit letter as a company, the provider looks at it and says, “Okay, I know they’re not doing this maliciously. I know they’re doing their part.” They may not like our letter, they may not like having to be part of one of our audits. I’m not looking for them to send a love letter back, but I am looking for them to acknowledge that we are fair and consistent. We aren’t doing this because we are trying to rack up profits. We are doing this because there is a bigger goal and we’re doing our small part to achieve that goal.
Strategic: What do you see as the biggest national health care challenge ahead?
Peg: My real passion is to bring to the forefront that we can’t continue to consume health care at our current level. We just can’t.
If somebody said we were running out of air, we would have a different reaction. That is what it comes down to for us. How do you shock people into considering that this is as important to your well-being as air, as clean water? Because without heath care, we aren’t the same nation. We really aren’t.
Strategic: Is it possible to unify all the parties needed to ensure our national health care system becomes sustainable in our lifetime?
Peg: I think so. But it’s going to take a different approach. People have heard that health care is not sustainable. It’s not been sustainable for a long time. But the whole concept that I find most interesting is that we seem to just accept that it’s unsustainable. So is it fixable? Yes. But it will require all of us to become irate enough about it that we’re willing to do things differently. As consumers, we must be willing to access and utilize services differently. As providers, we must be willing to provide health care services more efficiently. As insurers, we must be willing to pay for services appropriately. Together, this is what it’s going to take. If we aren’t all willing to make these changes, it won’t be sustainable. By bringing together parties responsible for the health care ecosystem towards one goal, we can sustain our nation’s health care. I firmly believe it.
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