Russ Myers assumed the CEO position at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in January. He succeeded Rick Linneweh, who retired after 37 years at the hospital. Myers joined Memorial in 1989 as a management analyst and served as senior vice president and chief operating officer prior to being named CEO. He appeared on KIT 1280 on Aug. 19, 2014 to talk about the changes in the health care landscape and what they mean for Memorial and Yakima.
There’s a lot of change in the health care industry right now – the Affordable Care Act, health insurance exchanges, expansions to Medicaid. How do you see this affecting Memorial and the Yakima community?
It’s true. Health care is in a time of intense change. There are exciting new technologies available. Communication between patients and providers of care is more real-time and more complete. Care is becoming better coordinated, and patient insurance options and the way care is reimbursed are changing.
But with any challenge, there lies opportunity. Memorial has always stepped up to meet challenges and serve the needs of this community, and while health care may not look the same in the future, we’re prepared to provide the high-quality care people need, when they need it, at a lower cost. Our focus at Memorial has always been – and will continue to be – a healthy Yakima. We think we achieve that going forward through something called the triple aim.
What is the triple aim?
The Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to optimize performance in the health care system. Imagine a triangle; at each corner of the triangle sits one of three major goals:
1. Improving the health of populations. This is about changing the way we do business – not only sick care, but preventative care. It’s about having a healthy Yakima, and we do that by improving the health of our population.
2. Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction). Patient satisfaction will play a role in how we are reimbursed for our services going forward, and quality and satisfaction are keys to everything we do.
3. Reducing the per capita cost of health care. We are working to become more effective and efficient with the way we deliver health care.
Memorial will continue to play a large role in providing health care and working to improve overall health of our community. We’re going to continue to have an acute-care hospital, but that will likely be for the most critically ill. The long-term future will be more closely tied to medical homes – primary care providers – and providing outpatient care in convenient locations: Getting people the right care at the right place at the right time.