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Kaiser CEO discusses purchase of Seattle system



Bernard Tyson, CEO of  Kaiser Permanente, discusses why the nonprofit integrated health system, the nation’s biggest, has bought the nonprofit Group Health Cooperative, in Seattle, which has 600,000 members. It’s Kaiser’s first expansion into a new market in 20 years.

Among his remarks to Hospitals & Health Networks:

“We’re excited because we’ve had a long-term relationship with Group Health for many years. We’re two very similar organizations with similar histories, so the match just makes a lot of sense. For Kaiser Permanente, we wanted to grow in new markets in addition to what we were seeing in our current markets. This is our first new market in more than 20 years. We’re excited about this one in particular because it’s such a wonderful plan and delivery system that we’re going to build on as a part of Kaiser Permanente.’’

“We’re still working on the strategy in terms of where we’re going to put new facilities, but we’ve made a clear commitment that when we come into the market, we will be building some of our state-of-the-art medical centers in Washington state. We haven’t finalized the plans, obviously, as we’re just now taking it over. And really, now we’re beginning to look at the whole delivery strategy layout, but we’ve been very explicit about our commitment for capital in this market.’’

To read more, please hit this link.






The human touch and technology



In this video and text on Medscape, Ernest Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, talks about  changes in healthcare, but especially about how technology is transforming it. But one of his more memorable remarks came after Eric Topol, M.D., Medscape’s editor, asked him: “Did being a patient (with coronary problems) in those circumstances help in your role as CEO of a healthcare system?”

He replied:

Absolutely. I really mean this about touching my hand, because touching a hand is not a procedure you can plan. You cannot write an order for the nurse, at 2:05, to touch the patient’s hand. It is an emotional attachment. It is a human touching a human. We are heavy into technology. We are heavy into how technology will enable us to do a better job in taking care of each individual and millions of people, but not at the expense of the human touch. The human touch will always be the deciding factor of how people feel about the care that they are getting.”

To see and hear the entire interview, please hit this link.

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