What healthcare leaders need to know now

 

Karen Ignagni: The post-ACA landscape offers a blank slate for visionary leaders

By | September 2nd, 2015 | Blog | Add A Comment

 

Karen Ignagni: “There’s no handbook for where we are today. As a leader, you need to understand that and be willing to take out a blank piece of paper and create your vision.”

 

One in a series of interviews with Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2015.

 

The healthcare industry is in a time of historic change. Hospitals and health systems are merging and acquiring each other; health insurers are doing the same. The provider and payer worlds themselves are converging as health systems create their own health plans and insurers are affiliating with providers.

 

But no one should read into what is happening now as a guarantee of what the industry will look like when the tectonic plates stop shifting, says Karen Ignagni, the new CEO of EmblemHealth who recently completed an incredibly influential run as CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Ignagni spoke with Furst Group during her final days at AHIP and before taking over at EmblemHealth.

 

“The way to think about convergence is that it’s the beginning of numerous possibilities,” she says, “and how it evolves will be dependent upon individual market dynamics and individual stakeholder leadership.”

 

Despite the uncertainty, it should be an exciting time for innovators, Ignagni notes.

 

“It’s crucial to be open-minded and not think the past is prologue,” she says. “Some folks love that idea; others who are looking to continue a strategy charted some years ago are terrified by it. There’s no handbook for where we are today. As a leader, you need to understand that and be willing to take out a blank piece of paper and create your vision.”

 

Ignagni leaves no uncertainty as to where she stands on that issue.

 

“If you can think about this as the best of times, then you’ll have an opportunity to make an enduring contribution.” Read more…