Why Geisinger's care coordination strategies are a model for the US

Geisinger Health System, a Pennsylvania physician-led hospital system serving predominantly rural coal country, has emerged as a care coordination model for the nation, according to CEO David Feinberg, who told The Wall Street Journal he hopes the strategies will one day be so successful that the system will close its hospitals.

The system, which has developed a framework for organization-wide learning that emphasizes analytics and data, has spent decades investing in integration and technology, putting it ahead of the curve on advancements such as electronic medical records (EMRs), and prioritizes reduction and avoidance of unnecessary care, according to the article.

Despite its rural location, Feinberg told the WSJ that Geisinger's successes are scalable and applicable to various settings and geographical locations. He said Geisinger's strategies for improving population health, and reducing emergency department use and readmissions, should work in any other setting.

"Every time we've gone into one of those communities that are all different than central Pennsylvania, we've been able to show dramatic reduction in ER visits and dramatic reduction in readmission rates," Feinberg said. "The stuff that's been proven in Geisinger is exportable. That's totally clear now."

The system also is in search of partnerships with organizations that share its values on preventive care and population health, Feinberg said, regardless of whether those partners are at the same stage of the transformation with regard to population health or value-based care.

Feinberg isn't worried about Geisinger's emphasis on preventive care and unnecessary care reduction hurting its business, he told the WSJ; in fact, he said that his ultimate goal is to put the health system's hospitals out of business in favor of a healthcare landscape where the majority of care occurs in settings such as homes or schools.

To learn more:
- read the WSJ interview