MedCity Influencers

Health leaders who can bypass the health system

In a letter to Dr. Donald Berwick, the newly appointed Director of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), Senator Charles Grassley asks for clarification of Mr. Berwick’s potential conflicts of interest as Director of his Institute of Health Care Improvement: One of the many significant issues related to your nomination that remains unresolved […]

In a letter to Dr. Donald Berwick, the newly appointed Director of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), Senator Charles Grassley asks for clarification of Mr. Berwick’s potential conflicts of interest as Director of his Institute of Health Care Improvement:

One of the many significant issues related to your nomination that remains unresolved is the potential for conflicts arising from donors to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the organization you founded and led a Chief Executive Officer. The public has the right to know whether the numerous and significant policy decisions that you make are vulnerable to these potential conflicts of financial interest.

More importantly, Mr. Grassley asks:

In addition, please indicate whether IHI continues to provide benefits to you and your family including health care coverage as indicated in IHI’s audited financial statement.

Imagine a cook not eating at his own restaurant.

Imagine an auto mechanic not taking his car to his own shop.

Imagine a hospital administrator not receiving care in his own hospital.

And yet the American people are to receive care in a system where it’s own directors, tasked with making literally life and death decisions on their behalf, are exempt from receiving care in the same system.

Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC is a board certified internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist (doctor specializing in heart rhythm disorders) practicing at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL, USA and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He entered the blog-o-sphere in November, 2005. He writes regularly at Dr. Wes. DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly the those of the author(s) and should not be construed as the opinion(s) or policy(ies) of NorthShore University HealthSystem, nor recommendations for your care or anyone else's. Please seek professional guidance instead.

This post appears through the MedCity Influencers program. Anyone can publish their perspective on business and innovation in healthcare on MedCity News through MedCity Influencers. Click here to find out how.

Topics