Council News

February 14, 2014

DaVita CEO highlights value and partnerships, looks ahead at NHCC event

DaVita CEO highlights value and partnerships, looks ahead at NHCC event
by Eleanor Kennedy | Nashville Business Journal | Feb 14, 2014
Speaking at a Nashville Health Care Council event Friday,DaVita HealthCare Partners CEO Kent Thiry summed up his company’s past 15 years succinctly.”We used to be smaller and now we are bigger … we used to lose money and now we make money … the stock used to be lower and now it’s higher,” Thiry summarized, eliciting chuckles from the audience.Thiry’s talk covered a broad range of topics, from Denver-based DaVita’s own efforts in population health management and kidney failure prevention and treatment, along with predictions about the future of the industry and best practices to take advantage of a turbulent time.

Here’s a quick look at his three primary conclusions.

Value will win out. The health care industry is in the midst of a transformative period that could go very poorly — leading employers to reach their breaking point with the industry and turn to the government for more regulation and oversight or allowing for increased growth and prosperity for companies who capitalize on “proven models” of population health management, capitation and other ways to keep costs down while improving service, Thiry said.

Whatever happens, he said, the next few years are going to be “messy.” Companies, physicians and others in the space who want to win out need to focus on differentiating themselves and offering the value proposition consumers want, Thiry said.

Winners are determined 3-4 years in advance. If you haven’t already turned to some of those proven models, it may already be too late. Many times, Thiry said, the winners are determined far in advance, giving them a head start over the competition when new ways of doing things bear fruit.

Partnerships are key to improving service. DaVita focuses on a partnership model, Thiry said, working with physicians or hospital systems or others as needed to fill in the gaps in a community’s health care space. Providers need to work together to improve health care offerings, he said, and if the industry can achieve improved service that would be a “great gift” to America.

Looking around a room filled with local health care players, Thiry added, there’s no better place for those partnerships to form than right here in Nashville.

Eleanor Kennedy covers Nashville’s health care and technology industries.

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