Win Whitcomb, Chief Medical Officer of Remedy Partners shares his background and thoughts on the evolution of healthcare in Five Questions For...
What led you to what you are doing now?
I started working in bundled payments in 2009 at Baystate Health, leading the development of several bundles with its commercial payor, Health New England. Then I worked to enroll Baystate as an Awardee in Medicare's Bundled Payment for Care Improvement initiative before joining Remedy. I met Matt Wiggins and the management team In September 2013. I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of Remedy, with its unwavering focus on what is best for the patient and caregivers.
What is the biggest challenge in your job at Remedy?
Working with our partners under the new paradigm of value-based healthcare, which is about quality but is also about value and efficiency.We rely on a collaborative partner engagement approach, where, as equal partners in care redesign, we change care processes to make it easier for patients to recover safely from an illness or surgery, hopefully at home.
What do you think healthcare will look like in 2020?
We'll continue the evolutionary march to more value based payment and less fee for service. But I suspect some elements of fee for service will endure for a very long time. Growth in healthcare costs will likely remain at a new, lower rate due to higher copays and deductibles. As a result, people will not access healthcare as before due to more out-of-pocket expenses. We will begin to figure out how to build truly interoperable health IT, but it will be a slow process. By 2030, healthcare IT and medical records will finally be modular, meaning apps can be used to configure electronic medical records to work according to the preferences of the individual user.
What is the accomplishment at Remedy you are most proud of?
Thanks to Todd Leri and others at Remedy who had the insight that hospitalist groups could be Initiators in BPCI, I'm blessed to have been able to alter the course of the hospitalist specialty by helping bring the largest national and regional independent hospitalist practices into BPCI. This clearly marks the 'next generation' of hospitalist programs, those that are working in a value based payment program.
Perhaps more importantly though, I'm proud of the many lives of patients and families we've touched through redesigned care that supports better continuity and recovery. There's many moving stories.
What’s one thing you pursue in your non-work time?
Being there for my wife and kids. I'm trying to learn a bunch of new songs for singing and playing around the campfire this summer.
Win Whitcomb, MD, MHM, is Chief Medical Officer of Remedy Partners, where he oversees all aspects of the clinical enterprise, and the intersection between clinical, technology, and business areas. Prior to joining Remedy, Dr. Whitcomb led the development and implementation of several bundled payment programs at Baystate Health in conjunction with its commercial health plan and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
A practicing hospitalist for the past twenty years, Win has led the development of the hospitalist specialty since 1994, when he assumed leadership of the nation’s first 24/7 on-site hospitalist program. Dr. Whitcomb is cofounder and past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and has lectured widely, written numerous articles, and authored three books on the clinical and administrative aspects of hospital medicine.
Dr. Whitcomb received hospital medicine’s most prestigious achievement award, the Master in Hospital Medicine, in April 2010. He is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Whitcomb completed his internal medicine residency at Tufts University/Baystate Medical Center, received an MD from Jefferson Medical College, and a BA from Wesleyan University.