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New Year’s Message from Ron Kuerbitz, CEO

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”  Melody Beatty (writer)

I’ve spent nearly thirty years in the healthcare industry, and I’m still amazed by the tremendous changes we continue to see and excited by the opportunities in front of us. 2017 was no exception.  The new administration in Washington made substantial changes to programs impacting physicians; we continued to see large-scale consolidation among many of the organizations that drove innovation in prior years and at which many of our colleagues honed their skills; and we saw an organization that managed risk on behalf of physicians in our own backyard significantly stumble because of a lack of control over critical functions.

All these changes reaffirm our opportunity to be a leader in this industry.  The privilege of partnering with primary care providers and empowering them, through people, process, and technology, to take control over the delivery of healthcare is ours.  It has been entrusted to us by our partners in the physician community and our colleagues in the payer community.  But it is a privilege that we must continue to earn every day.  We have an opportunity to succeed where many others have failed.   We have an opportunity to build on the success of many predecessor organizations.  We have the opportunity to help transform care delivery across the country for Seniors and Medicaid patients. We made great strides toward that goal in 2017 and we’ve made even more ambitious plans for 2018.

Like the New Year’s tradition of personal resolutions, our senior management team and I have made significant commitments to our Board of Directors and each other for 2018.  Achieving these goals will require a focus on operational excellence across all capabilities of our organization.  Our 2018 agilon health commitments include:

  1. Successfully serving a growing number of primary care physicians across four states;
  2. Enabling them to better care for more than 750,000 patients;
  3. Achieving exemplary performance in our quality metrics and severe and chronic condition identification and management program (15% projected improvement in HEDIS measures; 57% growth in annual wellness visits in HI, 90% AWV compliance rate in OH, and 4 Star quality across all MA networks);
  4. Standardizing our operating technology platform, processes and procedures around utilization management, customer service, credentialing and claims processing functions to achieve world-class provider and member satisfaction;
  5. Demonstrating that our medical management capabilities can transform care for our members and at the same time enhance the sustainability of our health care system.

Perhaps most importantly, for the first time ever, we are setting these goals and commitments as ONE team.  I am excited to chart a new path forward as a unified organization working to transform healthcare delivery across the communities we serve.  Together, we have the opportunity to build a truly special organization.

What’s most promising about our goals for 2018 is that we have a tremendous head start.  Exceptional work throughout the organization during 2017 positions us well to deliver on these promises.  I thank all of you for your steadfast dedication and your continued service to our physician partners and their patients.  For example, the implementation of MDX Hawaii, Sequoia Health IPA, and COPC Senior Care Advantage on the new CORE technology system and our launch of enterprise operations in Anaheim lay the groundwork for furthering the move to the enterprise operating platform across the California market in 2018. 

Similarly, the 2017 work the team did on enhanced quality program performance provides a glide path to 2018 success.  Despite industry averages for quality improvement which hover at 3%, the Corona-based quality team, with close collaboration from Enterprise-based leaders, closed nearly 15% more gaps in care for IEHP patients than the prior year.  Take pride in knowing we closed 50% more gaps in retinal eye exams for our diabetic patients compared to the prior year.  This is a remarkable accomplishment and fuels improved relationships with both IEHP and our primary care physicians.  We are also deeply proud of the work our Hawaii and Ohio healthcare quality teams led around our Burden of Illness program.  This translated into a ~60% and ~20% growth in annual wellness visits, respectively, for our senior members, which enables our physicians to provide more attention and care to those patients that need it most.

Our challenge for 2018 is to take this management focus and rigor and bring that to all members throughout our markets.

Like the structure which supported excellence in Quality and Burden of Illness performance for 2017, Enterprise-based leaders will closely work with market-led functions for the medical management, provider relations, data and analytics, and finance to ensure sharing of best practices, expeditious resource deployment, and reporting consistency.

Foundational to future growth is achieving world-class excellence in key functions which significantly impact our physician partner’s experience with agilon health, including utilization management, customer service, and claims processing.  As such, we have made the decision to centralize management for these functions across the Enterprise and will be repositioning the teams in Hawaii and California to report to new leaders.  As part of the planning for these centralized Enterprise services (eMSO), management has made the commitment to achieve:

  • 25% improvement in claims turnaround time and payment accuracy
  • Improve and streamline referral authorization process and turnaround time
  • Increased satisfaction levels and call resolution rates in customer service

In addition to changes in reporting structure, several departments currently based in Corona and Long Beach will be relocating to the Anaheim office to accommodate expanded resources in Corona to support the significant growth in members secured by the California provider relations team over the last two months.  Also, the technology team supporting the CORE & HCC Manager application will be relocated to Anaheim as part of our efforts to advance our technology delivery excellence.

In closing, I hope you all embrace the changes we are implementing throughout the organization to improve our ability to add sustainable value to the health care delivery system.  We are on track to double the size of agilon health by the end of 2018.  In addition to exceptional growth, I look forward to sharing stories of operational success & human impact with you throughout the year, stories that highlight our enhanced ability to quickly and accurately process referral requests, get our providers paid timely and accurately, and answer customer questions with one call.

I look forward to sharing the success of the Hawaii team’s Emergency Room utilization reduction program and the results of the Ohio team’s innovation in SNF care.  I know these efforts will translate into improved confidence from our health plan partners and provider customers.  And at the end of the day, I know our progress will lead to more professional fulfillment for each of us as we re-imagine and transform healthcare together.

 

2018-03-03T01:11:45+00:00 February 3rd, 2018|

agilon health Quality Improvement Team Recognized for Excellence In Preventive Care Work

The coming of Fall and the change in seasons makes me think about the signs of change and progress throughout agilon health. Collaboration across markets abounds. And the fruits of that collaboration are remarkable. This summer, we have added a new office in Anaheim to accommodate growth, signed over 150 provider contracts in Ohio to build a network from scratch, finalized the work to implement the new CORE system in Hawaii and California, prepared to enter into another new partnership, instituted new processes to improve our risk adjustment and quality performance programs, launched new care improvement programs in all markets and are welcoming new colleagues in all of our regions. And those are but a small sample of the accomplishments we can be proud of. Whether you are part of the team in California, Hawaii or Ohio, our goals and aspirations are largely the same. We all support our partnerships with primary care physicians to ensure their long-term success. Together, as one organization, we are re-imagining quality, efficiency and patient experience by providing the people, solutions, capital and technology so that physicians can focus on the joy of practicing medicine.

An example of this commitment I’d like to share with you is the recruitment of eight dedicated quality-improvement professionals serving our patients in California.

Under the leadership of Dr. Khaliq Siddiq, California Medical Director, Adina Guthrie and her team are working diligently to support both physicians and patients in reducing gaps in preventative care in the nearly 450,000 Medi-Cal members we serve in the Inland Empire, San Diego and Fresno.

I believe their initial success of closing over 76,000 gaps in care for Vantage members in 2016 speaks volumes to their commitment as well as the likelihood of achieving their lofty goals for 2017.

By year’s end, Dr. Siddiq and Adina have challenged the Quality Improvement team with closing over 115,000 gaps in preventative care for Vantage members, which represents a 50% increase over the success of 2016. Appreciating the magnitude of the task, the team has implemented a full complement of tactics, including:

• Establishment of clear and measurable goals
• Cross-departmental collaboration with Provider Relations, MDX Technology, and Corporate Communications
• Physician incentive plan
• Physician recognition plan; Excellence in Preventative Care awards are provided to physicians who excel in closing gaps in care
• Data reporting, monitoring and transparency with physicians
• Implementation of agilon health’s proprietary technology to monitor gaps in care
• Member outreach and incentive plan
• Media campaign

The new Quality Improvement team in California is just one example of the investments agilon health is making across the organization to secure our future. Investing in quality not only fulfills the commitments to our physician customers and health plan partners, but also positions agilon health to enhance member growth, available resources and reputational benefits in the community.

I look forward to sharing additional bright spots with you from across the organization. I hope you find them valuable in thinking through the opportunities we have in all of our markets to support our primary care physician partners in improving the health and well-being of our members.

2017-10-05T22:49:13+00:00 August 28th, 2017|

agilon health CEO, Ron Kuerbitz, commemorates first anniversary with employees

It’s hard for me to believe that we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the formation of agilon health. It’s an important milestone, and the perfect time to take a minute and think about what you’ve accomplished and where we’re going.

As you all know, over the course of the last twelve months, our colleagues from PPMC and MDX all joined together to become agilon health. Then we grew beyond that with new teams based in Long Beach and Columbus, Ohio and now we’re adding even more strength through the opening of our newest office in Anaheim, California. Together, at nearly 500 colleagues, we are well positioned to support our growth in both existing markets as well as expand into new markets.

And that size and strength is dedicated to a high purpose. Here at agilon health we have the privilege to be part of a vibrant and growing organization that is changing healthcare. We’re creating jobs, helping doctors rediscover satisfaction in the practice of medicine, and most importantly helping to make healthcare accessible and affordable for those who need it most. In short, we’re bringing comfort and support to people who need help navigating the healthcare system, in many cases when they are facing new and challenging moments in their lives. While those sound like simple goals, they have eluded the best and brightest minds for decades. Some of the most prominent people in the country have tried and failed to solve the problems of our current healthcare system and reach those goals – from Presidents and leaders in Congress to policy experts and technology visionaries. Personally, I think we have the solution. There is no magic; we’re bringing a level of focus on fundamental processes, a level of experience and judgment, a level of creativity in solving problems, a level of technology sophistication, and most importantly, a level of enthusiasm and dedication that I haven’t seen anywhere in twenty-five years in healthcare. We’re already using those skills – we’ll be serving more than 1,700 physicians and more than 500,000 patients in three states by January 2018 – and we have thousands of more physicians all across the country asking for our help.

So, to the team at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice who had a vision, to all of you at PPMC, MDX and MDX Hawai’i and in Long Beach who took a chance to join together and form this new enterprise, to the pioneers in Fresno and at Central Ohio Primary Care who saw the vision and decided to lend their strength to the effort, to our newest partners who are in various stages of joining the company, I say it’s time to stop for a moment and marvel at what you’ve had the courage and determination to produce.

I invite you to pause to appreciate what we’ve already accomplished. But as our Chairman, Ron Williams, reminded me last week, we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. And the first anniversary of our founding is a great reminder that we’ve already taken our first steps. We’re coming into the second mile. Enjoy the run.

2017-07-24T07:10:36+00:00 July 1st, 2017|

agilon health Names Ronald J. Kuerbitz Chief Executive Officer

Appointment of Former Fresenius Medical Care North America CEO Caps Six Months of Strong Growth

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Long Beach, Calif., January 13, 2017 – agilon health, a healthcare services and technology company dedicated to partnering with physicians to create value-based healthcare delivery systems, announced today the appointment of Ronald J. Kuerbitz as chief executive officer, effective February 20, 2017.  Mr. Kuerbitz’s announcement caps a period of strong momentum for agilon in which the company filled key leadership roles with deep expertise in value-based healthcare, expanded its geographic reach through strategic partnerships, and grew the number of patients served.

Mr. Kuerbitz was CEO of Fresenius Medical Care North America (“Fresenius”), the $13 billion renal-care specialist with 70,000+ employees serving 1.3 million patients. He joins agilon having held a range of senior leadership positions during his 20-year career at Fresenius, including Chief Administration Officer, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, Chief Legal Officer, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Kuerbitz is credited with instituting a number of strategic initiatives, including restructuring Fresenius’ core dialysis services operations and creating one of the nation’s leading hospitalist physician practice management companies, supporting 2,000 providers under both fee-based and Medicare shared savings payment systems. Mr. Kuerbitz led the company’s focus on bringing value-based care models to the renal community by creating a Medicare Advantage chronic special needs plan for end stage renal disease patients, entering into delegated capitation agreements for managing end stage renal disease and establishing Fresenius as the largest participant in Medicare’s renal shared savings program.

“We are delighted to welcome Ron to agilon health. He brings a powerful combination of leadership skills in healthcare services broadly and in physician-focused business models specifically,” said Ronald A. Williams, Chairman of agilon and former Chairman and CEO of Aetna. “Ron is a proven business builder with a strong reputation for integrity and a passion for improving the quality of patient health using value-based care.”

agilon was formed in July 2016 through the combination of leading management service organizations and technology businesses in California and Hawaii. The company partners with physicians to deliver better patient outcomes through an enhanced suite of integrated services, including clinical, administrative, and technology solutions. agilon is reinventing the primary care market by establishing long-term strategic and financial partnerships that allow physicians to take greater control of the insurance premiums that flows through their practices.

“I am delighted to join an exceptionally talented management team at agilon, which includes many accomplished health care industry and health IT veterans,” said Mr. Kuerbitz. “We share a common vision for making healthcare more effective by empowering physicians with the administrative, technology and management resources, which can enable them to focus their energies on improving their patients’ health. This is the heart and soul of what agilon is uniquely positioned to facilitate – the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care – with better economics for all participants in the system.”

Mr. Kuerbitz is a graduate of Albion College and received a J.D. degree from Yale Law School. He is a member of the Advisory Board for Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In addition to the appointment of Mr. Kuerbitz, agilon has made significant investments in its leadership architecture across multiple functional areas. The leadership team includes highly experienced professionals from across healthcare and technology with a distinct set of skills to bring to life the integrated payment and delivery model of the future.

 

About agilon health

agilon health partners with physicians to provide high-quality, value-based healthcare. The company, formed in July 2016, operates in major markets across the United States, including Fresno, Hawaii and Southern California, managing care for more than 475,000 patients through a network of more than 9,000 physicians. agilon also is an important partner to payors, other providers and communities. For more information about agilon health, please visit www.agilonhealth.com.

2017-07-18T21:25:19+00:00 January 13th, 2017|