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Dr. Ansari shares keys to leading in a value-based care organization


Maria Ansari, MD, FACC, co-CEO of The Permanente Federation, appeared on The CEO Show hosted by Robert Reiss, to discuss physician leadership and the advantages of value-based care. As co-CEO, Dr. Ansari supports the work of more than 24,000 Permanente physicians and 80,000 staff who serve 12.5 million Kaiser Permanente members. She talked about her many leadership responsibilities, which include executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group — two of the largest and most accomplished medical groups in the nation.

Related story: Maria Ansari, MD, FACC, named CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group, and president and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group

Dr. Ansari also highlighted how key characteristics of Permanente Medicine, including a focus on prevention and patient-centered care, naturally align patient outcomes with business and financial objectives.  

In Kaiser Permanente’s prepaid, value-based care model, “if my patient never has a heart attack and never has a stroke, that’s the most desired outcome for that patient,” she said. Of course, the full suite of integrated, coordinated care and treatment are always there when the patient needs them. 

Organizations that follow different models of care — especially fee-for-service — often prioritize more and unnecessary care to maximize income, she said.

Related value-based care story Dr. Maria Ansari: Tipping point for value-based care is now 

On physician leadership  

Kaiser Permanente’s patient-first, physician-led approach to care is important, given that so many physicians, clinicians, and nurses resigned in the aftermath of the pandemic due to burnout 

“It’s that sense of autonomy, of agency that you have in your practice where you’re not being told by an administrator how to practice, but you’re self-governing,” Dr. Ansari said, leading to less burnout and less moral injury. 

She noted that, given Kaiser Permanente’s 75-years of experience operating as an integrated, value-based care organization, she does not have to deal with some of the issues other health group CEOs deal with, such as prior authorization and referrals. Instead, she focuses on innovation and making sure Permanente physicians spend more time doing what is best for patients.   

Driven by a passion for serving others, Dr. Ansari’s ultimate goal is to do the right thing. “When you go for what the right thing is, people will walk through a brick wall with you,” she said.  

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For Dr. Ansari, physician-led care, value-based care, preventive care, and integrated care aren’t just buzzwords, they’re critical elements of Permanente Medicine that that benefit patients above all else.  

To listen to the entire podcast, visit The CEO Show. 

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