Episode # 95 – Michael Akinyele was the First Chief Innovation Officer for the VA with its 390,000 Employees and Offers his Perspective Where Primary Care is Going and Who is Driving the New Model.

In this episode Ron chats with Michael Akinyele, Former and Founding Chief Innovation Officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Here they discuss Michael’s time at the VA and how he brought innovation to the system and some of the issues the VA faces.  He also talks about the Mission Act, Veteran Suicide, different healthcare models, the future of care and more.

Mr. Michael Akinyele, MBA, SES, is the former, founding Chief Innovation Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest federal civilian agency with a ~$250Bn budget and ~400K employees. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2019, and was responsible for leading, transforming and scaling enterprise innovation at the Department.

His efforts were primarily focused on implementing Section 152 of the MISSION Act of 2018 which authorized the creation of a Center for Innovation for Care and Payment at the VA. He was the Principal Lead of the VA Innovation Center (VIC) and served in that capacity from March 2018 to September 2020.

Mr. Akinyele is the Founder and Managing Principal of The Maximizer Group, an independent advisory firm primarily advising corporations, investors and startup companies. He is a health care futurist, collaborative leader, product and growth expert focused on inventing the future of healthcare delivery and payments. Prior to his work at the VA, his most recent fulltime role was serving as the Director of Venture Development — Health Care at a private foundation with ~$2Bn in assets and ~$125M in annual disbursements.

Prior to his role in philanthropy, he led management consulting teams focused on developing and implementing solutions to strategic and operational challenges facing multinational corporations. In the U.S. health care industry, he has advised health systems, physician groups, academic medical centers, health plans, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers, and a Medicaid agency. He is a member of the board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF), the largest foundation focused on funding research aimed at finding a cure and serving those touched by the disease.
Mr. Akinyele started his career managing physician practices in the Washington, D.C. metro area. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Howard University.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 94 – Meet Doug Aldeen an ERISA Attorney and National Activist Bucking for Fundamental Change as More Self-insured Employers Turn to Their Health Spend to Uncover Buried Treasure of 20-60% Savings and Better Outcomes for Employees.

In this episode Ron chats with Doug Aldeen, General Counsel and ERISA Health Care Attorney. Here they do a deep dive into how employers are changing they way they are looking at health benefits for their employees due to the crazy rate at which costs are rising and how COVID-19 is speeding up this change. They also discuss how the current way the American healthcare system is built is a sick care system, built to “feed the beast”. They also touch on referenced based pricing, how most urgent care facilities are owned by large health systems, the importance of having a primary care physician, direct primary care, and more.

Doug is an Austin, TX based health care and ERISA attorney who recently served as ERISA counsel on behalf of the Berkeley Research Group in New York City to the $7.7 billion May 2016 acquisition of Multiplan and its medical bill repricing product Data Isight by the private equity firm Hellman and Friedman. Since 1997, he currently and has represented reference base pricing organizations, a bundled payment software platform, PPO networks, medium to small self-funded plans, TPA’s and provider sponsored HMO’s  in various capacities including Herdrich v. Peagram which was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 2001. Moreover, he currently serves as a resource to national news organizations regarding issues on health care and in addition as a consultant with the Governmental Relations Committee at the Self Insured Institute of America in Washington D.C. and as an advisor to RIP Medical Debt which has abolished over $1.2 billion in medical debt.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 93 – Round 2 with Katy Talento, Recent White House Senior Advisor, Epidemiologist, Benefit Engineer, and Former Nun Who Wins in the Transformational New Healthcare Economy.

In this episode Katy Talento comes back on the show to discuss patient advocacy, surprise billing, and more. She talks about the financial difficulty patients face when faced with a medical problem. She also talks about how she is personally always asking questions to providers about pricing and surprise billing. She gives ways to fight back with a battlefield consent form. Katy also talks about why she loves the way her company can set up employers with great benefits plans that include direct primary care and affordable prices.

Katy Talento, president of KFT Consulting, is a licensed health benefits consultant, veteran health policy advisor and epidemiologist. She recently left the White House as the top health advisor to President Donald Trump on the Domestic Policy Council, where her job was to advance the president’s agenda to increase health care price transparency and price competition, end surprise medical bills, lower prescription drug prices, expand affordable options in the individual and group/ERISA markets, reduce the burdens of the Affordable Care Act, promote innovative employer sponsored coverage models, expand health IT interoperability, combat the opioids and other drug addiction crisis, eliminate domestic HIV/AIDS, and promote bioethics in life sciences.

 Prior to her White House appointment, Katy served five U.S. Senators over a 15-year period, including as top health advisor and manager of legislative staff and oversight investigators. She also worked in the private sector helping multinational energy companies protect their global workforce from infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue and the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service organization in the US. On the faculty at Georgetown University Medical School, Katy managed the Washington site of a multi-site NIH-funded pulmonology study. 

 A compelling communicator, Katy has delivered speeches to large audiences, served as Director of Speechwriting for the Republican National Committee during the successful 2010 election cycle, and has written a number of published opinion pieces, web copy, and video scripts. She spent two years as a Catholic nun and has worked with the poorest of the poor from East Africa, to industrial Russia and inner-city America. Katy received a Master of Science degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She lives in suburban northern Virginia with her husband and two children.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 92 – MRSA and C. diff Should Not Have Messed with Jeanine Thomas Who Leads the MRSA Survivors Network, Which is Outing the Bigs Who Prefer to Bury THIS Epidemic Much Worse than COVID-19

In this episode Ron chats with Jeanine Thomas, President/ Founder of MRSA Survivors Network, National Spokesperson for MRSA, MRSA Expert and Consultant. Here, they discuss the evolution of her long battle with MRSA. She also goes into detail about how that experience turned her in to an advocate for other MRSA survivors. Since founding the MRSA Survivors Network, she has lead the fight against MRSA and helped its survivors be heard. Jeanine is a true voice for change!

Ms. Thomas has been a marketing executive in international travel and tourism for over 20 years. She has worked with major foreign corporations and worked for the Government of Thailand as their National Marketing Director of the Americas. She has helped to organize medical missions to northern Thailand hill tribes, who have no medical assistance.

Ms. Thomas founded MRSA Survivors Network in early 2003 due to having been critically ill with a MRSA infection, sepsis and C. difficile from ankle surgery. Her organization was the first in the U.S. to raise the alarm about the MRSA epidemic, healthcare-acquired infections (HAI’s) and antibiotic resistance (AMR) to state and federal health officials in the U.S.

Ms. Thomas worked with then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama to pass the Hospital Report Card Act that mandated infections and patient/nurse ratios be publicly reported and it passed in 2003.

Ms. Thomas was the first advocate in January of 2006 to initiate in the U.S. mandated screening (universal) and public reporting of MRSA infection rates in the Illinois General Assembly. She initiated legislation again in January of 2007 – The MRSA Screening and Reporting Act which mandated screening for MRSA in all Illinois hospitals for ICU and at- risk patients and mandated MRSA infection rate reporting.  The bill passed and was signed into law by the Governor on Aug. 20, 2007; making Illinois the first state to pass and enact mandated screening in the U.S. Five other states have since passed similar legislation.

Ms. Thomas also works on a federal level with her U.S. congress members on MRSA, healthcare-acquired infection and antibiotic resistant bacteria issues and has worked on three federal bills for mandated MRSA screening and reporting.

Ms. Thomas initiated legislation in 2011 in the Illinois House and Senate to mandate that MRA, C. diff and VRE be put on death certificates if it was a contributing factor or cause of death. It passed unanimously and the first state to have all three pathogens mandated on death certificates.

Ms. Thomas launched and announced World MRSA Day, Oct.2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October in January of 2009 and the first Inaugural World MRSA Day Kick-off Event was held on Oct. 1, 2009 at Loyola University Chicago. Initiated by MRSA Survivors Network, U.S. Senate Resolution 301 (IL Sen. Durbin) passed Oct. 5, 2009, designating World MRSA Day, October 2 and World MRSA Awareness Month, October.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 91 – Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex Disinfection Services Knows it Takes a Light Emitting Robot to Completely Eliminate in 2 minutes Pathogens like C-19 – Mayo, Waldorf Astoria, the Carolina Panthers, and Hundreds More Like Them Agree.

In this episode Morris Miller returns to explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed his business and made the demand for the disinfection robots his company makes to skyrocket. Last time Morris was on the show was 9 months ago and a lot has changed since then. Numerous peer reviewed studies have come out about saying with certainty that the Lightstrike Pulsed Xenon Disinfection robot does in fact kill SARS-CoV-2. Morris discusses how the technology is being adapted by an increasing number of organizations, all with fantastic results. He also looks into what the future may hold when it comes to fighting the pandemic from a disinfection standpoint.

Morris Miller, CEO of XENEX. Xenex is a world leader in automated room disinfection. Through the use of Xenon technology and innovative hospital disinfection protocols, the company has helped hospitals achieve significant infection reduction results.

As CEO, Morris is responsible for the company’s overall business strategy and oversight of day-to-day operations.

Originally from San Antonio, TX, Morris is a graduate of the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is the founder of Sequel and Cutstone Ventures, which invests in/acts as an advisor to numerous start-ups such as Inventables, Adometry, and Golfballs.com. He started Curtis Hill Publishing, the first company to publish Texas case law on CD-ROM, and he was also the co-founder and President/CEO of Rackspace (NYSE: RAX). Morris is a member of APIC, BioMed SA, and ACG Central Texas.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 90 – Dr. Jaime Hope is a Master Teacher of Medical Students, an ER Doc, an Author Famous for Her Mantras. “The Answer is in The Patient.” “A Test is Always a Question.” More Nuggets Here – Listen Up.

This episode features Dr. Jamie Hope, Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author and Attending Physician at Beaumont Health Royal Oak’s Level 1 Trauma Tertiary Care Center. Here she discusses the importance of helping patients to change their lifestyles so that do not have to go the ER later in life by improving the primary care model. She also dives into how the EHR becomes a barrier between doctor and patient interaction and it takes away from the human connection. Jamie also takes on the topic of workplace violence and how it can be prevented and properly handled.

Dr. Jaime Hope is an attending physician at Beaumont Health Royal Oak’s Level 1 Trauma Tertiary Care Center, one of the busiest in the country.  She also provides care at a rural critical access hospital in Harbor Beach, MI.  She is a graduate of the Mich State Univ College of Human Medicine and completed residency at Beaumont Health, Royal Oak.  She completed her Fellowship in Medical Education through the OUWB School of Medicine.

Dr. Hope is an Assistant Professor at OUWB School of Medicine and an enthusiastic educator in clinical medicine and the Promotion and Maintenance of Health course.  She is also the faculty advisor for the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group and has helped spearhead multiple community service projects.  Her efforts and dedication to her students led her to receive the nomination for the 2018 Arnold P Gold National Humanism Award.

Dr. Hope serves on the Patient Experience Committee, the Human Trafficking Task Force, The Pain Management Steering Committee, the Curriculum Integration Committee, and the BMG Service Excellence Committee, The Patient Family Advisory Council, and is passionate about promoting good patient-physician relationships.

Dr. Hope has been an invited lecturer across the country on a variety of medical and health related topics.  She has done Board Review educational courses, Grand Rounds, podcasts, press conferences, television and radio appearances, and educational mastermind courses in addition to her many live audience sessions.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 89 – Wait! The Origin of Virtual Primary Care was Born the Day After the Birth of the iPhone? Meet Dr. Jay Parkinson the Original Creator and a Pediatrician Who Grew Sherpaa and Now as a Principal at Crossover Health Serve Up Primary Care and More at Amazon, LinkedIn and More at Their Places of Business.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Jay Parkinson, Chief Designer at Crossover Health. Here they discuss what inspired him to create a virtual primary care platform. They dive into how it combined the scalability and accessibility of telehealth with the continuity found in traditional primary care and enables their primary care doctors to manage 95% of the conditions a traditional office-based primary care doctor can manage. They look at how the platform has grown and evolved over the years and what difficulties they faced along the way. Jay also looks towards the future of not only his platform, but healthcare as a whole.

Jay Parkinson, MD, MPH, founded Sherpaa in 2012 and developed a wide employer and retail member base across the United States. Sherpaa is the leading provider of asynchronous communication between patients and providers. A driven entrepreneur, Jay’s background in the healthcare industry includes being partner at The Future Well, and Founder and CMO of Hello Health. He completed his Preventative Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins, and his Pediatric Residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York. Jay has earned degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, and Penn State Medical School.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 88 – Dr. Trent Talbot Overcame his and his Grandfather’s “Irreversible” Conditions by Deep Diving into Non-Traditional Solutions. Hear how The MediSearch Institute was born.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Trent Talbot. Trent is the Founder of The MediSearch Institute. Here they discuss how Trent and his grandfather both suffered from chronic conditions for which they thought were untreatable. Trent discovered that through serious research into a patient’s entire medical history and talking to experts from multiple specialties all over the world, patients with even the most confusing and difficult diagnoses can find solutions. He created The MediSearch Institute to help these kinds of patients. Primary care docs, specialists, and hospitals do not always have the bandwidth or resources to do a deep dive in to these complex kinds of cases. The MediSearch Institute meets with these patients and uses its broad network of experts to offer solutions, treatments, and hope. Trent discusses some of the success stories of his company, and how happy patients are when issues they never thought were solvable have been solved.

Trent is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, an Alpha-Omega-Alpha Honor Medical Society inductee, and a Board Certified Ophthalmologist.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 87 – Marshall Allen of ProPublica is as Respected as Healthcare Journalists Come. Shortlisted for the Pulitzer, He Exposes the Egregious Behavior of the Bigs. Learn What Drives Him Here.

In this episode Ron chats with brilliant healthcare journalist, Marshall Allen. Here they do a deep dive into the insights Marshall has gained into some of the shadier practices in the healthcare industry from his journalistic work. Marshall talks about what inspired him to leave his career as a pastor and become an investigative journalist. Marshall talks about his series from 2018 – 2019 called “The Health Insurance Hustle” which focused on the rising costs and absurdities of health insurance in America. Ron and Marshall also debate whether the CEOS of major health systems are deserving of multimillion dollar a year salaries and discuss things potential ideas for topics that Marshall can write about in the future.

Marshall Allen investigates why we pay so much for health care in the United States and get so little in return. He is one of the creators of ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard, which published the complication rates for about 17,000 surgeons who perform eight common elective procedures. Allen’s work has been honored with several journalism awards, including the Harvard Kennedy School’s 2011 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and coming in as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for work at the Las Vegas Sun, where he worked before coming to ProPublica in 2011. Before he was in journalism, Allen spent five years in full-time ministry, including three years in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a master’s degree in Theology.

Read the Transcript

Episode # 86 – Dr. Clive Fields of VillageMD and Walgreens Agreed to a Billion Dollar Partnership in July. 500-700 Clinics Over 5 years. Meet the Visionary Who is Taking Primary Care to the Next Level.

In this episode, Ron chats with Dr. Clive Fields, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at VillageMD. Here they discuss Clive’s career and how VillageMD was founded with the sole purpose of helping independent physicians succeed in the transition from fee per service to value-based care. They also look at how COVID-19 has changed the primary care landscape and where value-based care fits in the pandemic era and beyond. Clive explains the importance of the new partnership between Walgreens and VillageMD, and much more.

As Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of VillageMD and an esteemed practicing physician, Clive Fields, M.D., is transforming the way today’s patients and physicians experience health care. Dr. Fields helped create VillageMD in 2013 to enable progressive physician groups, independent practices and health care organizations to move toward a primary care-led, high-value clinical model with improved quality, exceptional patient experiences and lower costs. Under Dr. Fields’ co-leadership, VillageMD has grown from an initial practice of 13 physicians to a partnership with more than 2,500 physicians across seven states who are responsible for approximately 500,000 lives.

Dr. Fields has demonstrated a passion to deliver value-based care throughout his medical career. His dedication and contributions culminated in his receiving the 2018 Robert Graham AAFP Physician Executive of the Year by the American Academy of Family Practice’s (AAFP). He has also been consistently named one of Houston’s “Top Doctors” by H Magazine and Texas Monthly. In the early 1990s, prior to beginning VillageMD, Dr. Fields initiated and served as president of Village Family Practice, which became one of the largest primary care groups in Houston and was recognized for its quality of care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Despite his leadership roles and commitments, Dr. Fields makes patient care his ultimate priority. He sees patients weekly and serves on staff at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital, The Methodist Hospital and CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Dr. Fields also functions as an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at both Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas at Houston. An active member of the AAFP, he is a regular contributor on health care topics for leading publications including Forbes, Health Data Management and the Houston Chronicle. Dr. Fields received his medical degree from The Chicago Medical School and his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Read the Transcript