David Feinberg, M.D., chief executive of UCLA Health System, will become the sixth chief executive of Geisinger Health System, claiming the top spot at a medical care network with 23,500 employees that has been lauded as a model in the fast-changing world of health care.
On May 1, Feinberg officially claims the reins of a nonprofit that has greatly expanded its reach and now includes Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township and Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. The health system now hopes to refocus on improving health care delivery and outcomes.
In a conference call with reporters Monday, Feinberg said he studied Geisinger’s approach for years, hoping to learn and maybe adopt their approaches. But he never imagined leading the system, which he called a dream come true.
“Geisinger is so important to American medicine today,” he said, calling the system one of the first with integrated insurance, facilities and doctors. “American health care is transitioning from a system where we are paid on volume, where more difficult cases result in more costs even as outcomes have not improved by as much. Geisinger has shifted from volume to value by measuring outcomes for patients.”
Pennsylvania has a strong supply of doctors, but is struggling to keep its younger, newly graduated physicians in the state, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The association’s annual State Physician Workforce Data Book ranked Pennsylvania 10th in the country for its percentage of patient care doctors, but 37th in retaining those training through medical schools, residency programs, and fellowship positions.
The report was discussed Tuesday during the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s end-of-the-year state medical political news conference.
“Considering that the report indicates Pennsylvania has the fourth highest percentage of medical school students in the country, we should be concerned that our retention rate appears low,” said Dr. Bruce A. MacLeod, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, in a statement.