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Analysis

Geisinger CEO Reflects on J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

By Jack O'Brien  
   January 20, 2020

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, CEO of Geisinger Health, talks about the state of the industry at the annual healthcare conference.

The 38th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference provided an opportunity for executives to discuss emerging primary care models and how to expand affordable and reliable care options, according to Geisinger Health CEO Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD.

Ryu attended the healthcare conference in San Francisco last week and told HealthLeaders that his focus was touching base with leaders about ways to "deliver real value back into the community."

"I think [the conference] is a good way to get a feel for all of the different conversations that are going on across the industry," Ryu said. "For [Geisinger] it's a good way to connect back with partners that are interested in similar [initiatives] like how do we manage populations in a sort of risk-based fashion, specifically focusing on care programs that allow us to do that. [That includes] all of the things we do around primary care, getting care into the home, or the [Geisinger] 65 Forward primary care model."

Related: Insights from the 38th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Investing in the primary care has been a major initiative at Geisinger, which announced in November that it will make its medical school tuition-free for students pursuing a career in primary care.

Ryu told HealthLeaders that it is a business move intended to help medical students avoid debt while driving the success of Geisinger's clinical care models. 

Related: Geisinger's Long-Term Investment Plan to Eradicate Med School Debt, Strengthen Primary Care

Reflecting on the conference, Ryu said he made it a point to make sure primary care didn't "get lost in the mix," and added that investments in the field can enable healthcare organizations to advance their care offerings for patients. 

In addition to conversations around opportunities in the primary care space, Ryu said there was an emphasis among executives on the potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence to replace manual tasks in healthcare.

He added that this applies to both administrative tasks in healthcare organizations, like the billing process, as well as on the clinical side as it relates to identifying vulnerable patient populations that might require medical interventions.

"There may be several different slices of people [in a patient population] and some of them may need an in-person visit once a week while some may just need a phone call once a month. Figuring out who those populations are is another way I think that we can make health easier more efficiently."

Related: Big Merger Deals Are Missing at J.P. Morgan Healthcare Investor Conference. Here's Why.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: DECEMBER 2013 - BERLIN: the logo of the brand "JP Morgan". / Editorial credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com


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