Ep29 - Value-Based Care is Health-Based Care, Andrea Zalusky, MPH


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On this episode of the Pursuit of Health Podcast we return to the issue of healthcare economics with our guest, Ms. Andrea Zalusky. She brings over a decade of experience in the field of healthcare administration, with a particular focus as of late on the transition from a “Fee-for-Service” (FFS) to a “Value-based care” (VBC) approach to the financing of medical care. She explains that, like doctors, she has engaged in this work because she wanted to help as many people as possible become and stay healthy. With a Masters Degree in Public Health from Columbia after studying Global and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Zalusky has worked in the northeast from New York to New Jersey to establish a consistent approach to healthcare. Through her work she remains intent on improving the health and well-being of the populations that live in these areas.
Ms. Zalusky is currently leading value-based care operations for Optum Care in the New York and New Jersey region, focused on supporting physicians, hospitals, and post-acute care facilities be successful in these programs. Prior to Optum, she worked at CareMount Health Solutions where she managed operational programs focused on reducing readmissions in partnership with major hospital systems. Prior to these operations focused roles, she also had time with both Evolent Health and other consulting firms, where she gained experience with population health program implementation and Value-based care models all across the US - working with physician groups, hospitals and Accountable Care Organizations to help them be successful in this new model of care.
Ms. Zalusky takes our audience through some of the details behind the concepts of Population Health and Value-based payment systems in a way that is enlightening and reassuring. She explains some of the hurdles and successes along the way and shares her ultimate goal of finding a balance that allows for the achievement of 4 crucial elements to a well functioning healthcare system in the U.S.. Along the way she emphasizes the sentiment that “Our system is indeed broken and the people deserve better.”
Ms. Zalusky explains that this venture towards Value-based payments has been in the works for years. It has required persistence, legislation and time to finally get off the ground. Though she is honest that we have a long way to go, she contends that there is no turning back to a Fee-for-Service system. She reassures us that the key to a successful transition from FFS to VBC over the next several years is to work in partnership with clinicians so that they can best implement their evidence-based knowledge to the betterment of everyone.
We look forward to your feedback on this and any prior episodes. Dr. Fethke and the POH team can be reached on Facebook and Instagram @drfethkemd and our website at drfethkemd.com

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