6 takeaways from #CEO2CEO event with Anthony Tersigni, CEO of Ascension and Blake Marggraff, CEO of Epharmix

On April 10th, 2017, Epharmix CEO Blake Marggraff and Ascension CEO Anthony Tersigni participated in the first #CEO2CEO Conversation Series of the year sponsored by Accelerate St. Louis and the St. Louis Regional Chamber, and hosted at T-REX. Jack Speer of NPR moderated the conversation and asked the two to tackle some of the most difficult questions in healthcare.

Anthony Tersigni, EdD, FACHE is President and CEO of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the United States, and is committed to delivering personalized care to the impoverished and medically underserved. Blake Marggraff is CEO of Epharmix, a St. Louis-based digital healthcare company focused on connecting high and rising-risk patients with care management teams to improve health outcomes. Dr. Tersigni described some of the ways in which he’s seen healthcare transform over his 36 years of experience and how he expects it to continue to change- driven by companies such as Epharmix.

Here are the top six takeaways from the interview:

    1. Technology is leading healthcare transformation and helping to serve more patients
      According to Dr. Tersigni, we’ve been reforming healthcare for over the last 30 years, it is now time to transform it. “The way to do that is partnering with innovative companies to bring emerging technology that can help us serve more patients along the way,” Dr. Tersigni said. Blake added that technology companies can transform healthcare by being good at the technology and listening extremely closely to those that provide care to patients. “At that point, technology becomes the ultimate multiplier, extremely low cost, extremely high bandwidth and it augments, doesn’t replace the skill that already exists in the industry,” Blake said.
    1. Healthcare reform must support the transition to value-based care
      According to Dr. Tersigni, healthcare reform should seek to continue the components of the ACA that work, “while ensuring there are sufficient resources in place to support the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care.”
    1. We’ve entered the age of consumerism and personalization
      Consumers are proactive and want fast, safe, and mobile access to their health information, Dr. Tersigni said. According to Blake, every patient is unique and those with chronic illness need varying levels of care, depending on their condition. “Technology can adjust to patient’s lives by collecting high levels of data when necessary, then backing off, when the patient is doing better,” Blake said.
    1. Large corporations can benefit from partnering with startups
      According to Dr. Tersigni, the inventiveness and entrepreneurial thinking that comes from startups is exactly what is needed to transform healthcare. Large, hierarchical organizations want to maintain the status quo while startups question their assumptions and challenge them. “We know that we just can’t do it all alone, so we need value-based partners as we move into the future,” Dr. Tersigni said.

      “We need inventors like Blake and what they provide because our focus and our mission in Ascension is to care for all, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable, and technology like Blake has introduced is something very important to our organization or any organization that cares for people who are struggling,” Dr. Tersigni said.

    2. Patients of every age have embraced mobile devices- and that is driving the biggest technological change in healthcare
      After conducting many studies, Dr. Tersigni explained that they’ve found that patients in every age group are comfortable with mobile devices. Now, they need to leverage those devices to enable patients to be active, engaged participants in their care. He explained that the adoption of mobile devices has been one of the biggest drivers of technological change in healthcare, and that mobile devices now represent the future of medicine and EHR. “We want to ensure that people are using the same devices in their healthcare as they’re using in their personal lives,” Dr. Tersigni said.
    1. Focus on preventing chronic diseases to improve quality of life
      According to Dr. Tersigni, in the coming years, healthcare will focus more strongly on preventing chronic diseases and managing them earlier. “We need to keep people well from the start of life, and at every stage of life,” Dr. Tersigni said.

Also published on Medium.