Derek Mydlarz, MD, MPH
Job Title: Global Executive Director/CMO, Health Benefits and Services
Member of KHC for: 4 months
What KHC committees have you participated? KCHMS Oversight Committee, Board of Directors
Provide a brief description of your job: I lead all global healthcare services, including occupational medicine, on-site primary care, and health and wellness programs. Also, I manage all healthcare, and health and disability-related benefits.
Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community?
I think price transparency is key in addressing the cost of care. Though we are seeing progress in this area, certainly the patients and even the payors have limited, if any, insight regarding the costs of individual healthcare services. Imagine shopping for any other essential service without knowing the price ahead of time – unthinkable, except in healthcare. We have to do better. The other side of the cost coin is quality of care. Suboptimal quality and wasteful, low-value care lead to suboptimal health outcomes. Those, on the other hand, balloon the total cost of care as, for example, the chronically ill do not get better and continue to utilize acute and chronic care services. Increased transparency regarding health outcomes, in addition to other quality-related measures, will bring much needed accountability to healthcare delivery. It will also afford patients, health plans, and employers an informed choice of higher-quality providers leading to a reduced overall cost of care. One way to assure transparency is to develop a standardized and comprehensive (yet succinct) sets of key quality measures for individual providers, provider groups, and hospital systems in our community and elsewhere. To ensure the effort is meaningful and fair, healthcare purchasers and consumers would need unencumbered access to such data.
Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?
It is difficult to drive meaningful change alone. On the other hand, as a coalition of aligned stakeholders our voice can be heard more readily and be more impactful. Together we can more effectively advocate for and drive policy agenda that addresses head-on some of the thorniest, yet essential healthcare reforms both on a local level and, in collaboration with other local and regional collaboratives, more broadly.
What is your favorite quote?
I have two that, on the surface, seem to be at least somewhat contradictory:
- “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” –James Cameron
- “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” –John Lennon
What I see in these and what has guided my professional journey to date is: Set out to achieve more than you think you can, but don’t overthink it.
What is your dream vacation spot?
The relatively few places in the world where mountains meet a sea or an ocean. That way I can enjoy the beach and the near-by cultural and fun activities, and then retreat into the mountains for some quiet and reflective time.