Shift Shapers Podcast

24 May 2021

Ep #359: In Pursuit of the Elusive Health Care Double – with Suzanne Delbanco

David Saltzman 0 Comments

This week’s episode features a conversation with Suzanne Delbanco, Executive Director at Catalyst for Payment Reform. Consolidation in the provider marketplace has detrimental effects on patients, such as provider unwillingness to change in favor of improved patient experience. In policy reform, the central issue is price transparency remains a battleground where Suzanne is very active. She also comments on the recent uptick in direct contracting solutions and the incoming changes ushered by the pandemic.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 01:43 Suzanne’s background: Changing the healthcare system for 10 years
  • 05:34 Payment reform: The state of provider marketplace consolidation today
  • 13:34 Advising policy reform on price transparency
  • 17:46 Direct contracting is not a broadscale solution
  • 20:17 Near future changes triggered by COVID-19


03:40 “Employers, states, Medicaid agencies, unions, universities who have lots of staff who have to buy healthcare for big populations, I’m trying to help them create a shared agenda for pushing the marketplace to be more responsive to the needs of those who buy and use healthcare.”

08:02 “We might come up with a perfect method of payment but if the price is too high, it doesn’t exactly bring better value.”

09:45 “When you have an increasingly consolidated healthcare provider marketplace, which means that providers have the market power and they are essentially calling the shots, it’s not only price that suffers but it can even be willingness to experiment.”

16:25 “The health policy commission, the data analysis institute that they’ve established and their sort of partnership and work with the attorney general’s office, has given Massachusetts insight into the working of their market that’s unparalleled.”

18:22 “I don’t think it will ever be a broadscale solution and it’s for very simple reasons that most employer purchaser organizations do not have the sophistication and the bandwidth to do this on their own.”

Listen to the Full Interview:

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