Dr. Robert Pearl on What’s Holding Healthcare Transformation Back

It’s easy to bemoan the collective headaches of modern medicine. In the U.S., total healthcare spending exceeds $3.5 trillion, cost per patient is more than $10,000, and healthcare as a proportion of our GDP is approaching 20%. Compared to all of Europe, America spends twice as much to care for half as many people. And we come in dead last in clinical outcomes among other wealthy countries.

With the data this damning, it’s hard to envy anyone who decides to assume a leadership role at the nation’s largest medical group, with a charge to make the numbers add up.

Dr. Robert Pearl, former CEO of The Permanente Group and author of the bestselling book Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Healthcare – And Why We’re Usually Not, spoke with us about turning this crisis in healthcare into an opportunity to change the system. In his tenure at The Permanente Group – boasting five million members and a staff of nearly 50,000 – Dr. Pearl was able to half hospitalization utilization while driving up patient quality through a combination of changes in consolidation, capitation, and culture.

Listen to Dr. Robert Pearl talk transformation on this week’s episode of Relational Rounds. You can also dive into his work on robertpearlmd.com, check out his regular column on Forbes, and follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter. All profits from his Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Healthcare – And Why We’re Usually Not go to Doctors Without Borders. Make sure you’re subscribed to Relational Rounds on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher.

Elizabeth Métraux

Senior Advisor for Thought Leadership at PCP, Elizabeth regularly speaks and writes on the art, science, and power of language, as well as performs as a storyteller in the Boston area.

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