Meet Kevin – The Strategizer

By Kevin Carey, CPHIMS, FACHE, MBA, MHSA, executive director; HIMSS Champion of Health

Kevin is an executive director in New Mexico. As a strategizer, he perseveres to deliver tools that improve care delivery, interoperability, and value-based care and purchasing at his organization. His favorite part of his work is the fast-paced cadence of his days and the variety of stakeholders and challenges he encounters.

I’m responsible for the daily operations of a physician hospital organization (PHO).

My typical workday is from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. My day begins with a quick scan of email, texts, calls, LinkedIn messages, etc., then 30 minutes on my Cybex, a protein smoothie, and then off to the office on either my Harley, GSA, Jeep or BMW sports wagon – weather depending. Some weeks I travel for conferences or meetings with colleagues, and this requires air travel in most cases – so I fly in and out of the Santa Fe Airport.

I have an office on campus at Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos, New Mexico. I mostly interact with my staff – two medical directors and an executive assistant – as well as panel practitioners and health system executives (CEO, CFO mostly). I report directly to a 10-member board of directors, and I manage all payer relations, contracting and credentialing. I transform primary care practices, establish infrastructure (interoperability), and enter into pay-for-performance and alternative payment/delivery models as we migrate to value-based care and payment.

I spend about half my time in Taos and the other half meeting with payers, colleagues, government representatives, vendors, consultants and fellow board members. I serve on the New Mexico Healthcare Executives Board of Directors as Chair of Advancement and Mentoring; the Advisory Board for New Mexico Health Information Collaborative; the board of a national consulting firm; and as President of the New Mexico Chapter of HIMSS – so I find myself in front of many boardrooms and airplanes. 

One of my biggest challenges is interoperability.

We are in the midst of filing for a new based Medicare Shared Savings Plan (launch date July 1, 2019) and transitioning to value-based care with Medicaid as well. To be successful with our two largest payers/markets, two years ago we embarked on a journey to transform primary care and put the requisite infrastructure for driving success in low costs/better outcomes in place.

Our position is that we need a 360-degree view and a longitudinal electronic patient record for all residents and visitors in our care. This requires both the right business models and practice transformation, which demand interoperability. We have done a pretty good job of collecting data from across the state. We must do a much better job of making discreet data embedded in tools at the bedside and the physician’s desk available to inform the care process.

My motivation is my family.

Family has and will always be the number-one reason I do what I do – both in terms of trying to make the U.S. healthcare system higher functioning so when a member of my family or a friend needs something, the system is there for them; and in terms of the opportunities that family members and friends have pursued with my help.

My favorite success story involves enabling point-of-care decision-making.

Our Heads-up Display Clinical View Agent (CVA) enables me to aggregate data from across my healthcare ecosystem and create and then integrate actionable information into my clinicians’ clinical workflow to effect best-practice decision-making at the point of care. This is powerful because it lets me give my clinicians the needle in the haystack of data instead of simply providing better access to more hay!

The Heads-up Display CVA pulls data from more than 400 EMR/EHR brands from across the region, state and nation – from PCPs to specialists to quaternary medical centers. It is able to track patient cohorts and present gaps in care. It makes it possible for those of us operating in value-based and risk-based contracts to operate efficiently, avoiding duplicate or inappropriate use of services and testing to drive best operational, financial and clinical outcomes to success in value-based care.

My superpower is persistence.

Persistence is crucial in delivering tools that clinicians need to be successful in value-based care. My success is directly related to my myriad failures. Without the ability to get back up with the ability to persevere one more time, this would not have been the case.

My kryptonite is close-mindedness.

Whether I recognize close-mindedness in myself or in others, it always seems to suck the energy right out of a room. It squashes creativity, ingenuity and persistence and is never any fun. It takes more energy to defend old ways of doing things than it does to harness the juices of creative thought and the harmony of collaborating with others to reach common goals.

I am a champion of health because… 

The U.S. healthcare system is in trouble, and it takes persistence to persevere through all the challenges and doubters. I’ve been in and around the healthcare system since the age of 10, when I first learned of my mom’s battle with breast cancer, then as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy at age 17. I’ve been a student and contributor to the healthcare system for 40 years now. I don’t stop; we don’t stop.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.


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