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Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's Next CEO Talks Strategy

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 6, 2012

HLM: Will you do anything differently than George Halvorson did?

BT: I have a great role model in terms of his staying in touch with the outside industry and I will do more of that. George has done a great job in helping to understand what's going on in the outside world and how that informs our strategies. And I will do more of that.

HLM: Halvorson indicated to me in a recent interview that a big challenge for Kaiser would be how to set up health insurance exchanges.

BT: That's what we're working on. How do we play in the exchanges across the country. We're working with the exchanges in each of the states in which we exist, and these are the pieces of the puzzle that we're working on to get and bring clarification, and hopefully create a solution that's going to work for everyone.

The central issue in this country as it pertains to healthcare is affordability. Our goal is to continue to build on our position of providing the highest quality care, but also absolutely affordable.

The biggest piece for me is affordability.

HLM: What do you do in your spare time?

BT: I am privileged to have three wonderful sons, and my lovely wife. I enjoy reading and exercise. I'm starting to appreciate wines more so I'm reading a lot about wines, and trying to understand unique features. I enjoy cooking, and read a lot of cookbooks. I cook all the time, and I cook healthy foods. You should have seen my rosemary chicken last night.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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