Health IT, Hospitals

Google taps Geisinger CEO to oversee health efforts

As CEO David Feinberg heads to the tech giant, Geisinger executive vice president and CMO Jaewon Ryu will serve as the health system’s interim president and CEO.

Geisinger president and CEO David Feinberg is moving to tech giant Google, where he will help coordinate its moves in the healthcare space, according to CNBC.

His role will include determining how Google’s disparate health initiatives can be better organized. The tech company’s core search team, Google Fit wearables team and Nest home automation group are a few of several groups interested in healthcare.

People familiar with the matter told CNBC the search process has been going on for months, and candidates have included leaders in hospital management, insurance and health consulting. Feinberg will report to AI head Jeff Dean and will work closely with CEO Sundar Pichai.

Meanwhile, Jaewon Ryu has been appointed as interim president and CEO of Geisinger, effective December 1, 2018. Ryu has served as the Danville, Pennsylvania-based health system’s executive vice president and CMO since 2016. Feinberg will stay at Geisinger until January 3 to ensure a smooth transition process, according to a Geisinger news release.

Feinberg has held his position at Geisinger since 2015. In an interview with MedCity last year, he said the healthcare problem he’d like to solve is the waiting room.

“We have a system that’s so designed around the provider that you wait for them,” he said. “We need to design the system around that patient or that family. When I say eliminate the waiting room, I’m talking about completely flipping healthcare on its side so it’s really all about the patient and the family.”

He isn’t the only big-name hospital executive to move to Google. Earlier this year, former Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove took on a position as an executive advisor to the Google Cloud Healthcare and Life Sciences team.

A CNBC report from this summer noted Feinberg was one of the top picks to lead the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-J.P. Morgan initiative, but he said he would remain at Geisinger. Atul Gawande was ultimately chosen for the position instead.

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