Episode # 202 – Andy Thompson is COO of the Largest Independent Pediatric Group and a Former Leader at VillageMD. Here We Learn About Key Quality Metrics, Full vs Partial Risk VBC, Deep Data and the Critical Importance of the Independent Caregiver.

In this episode Ron chats with Andrew Thompson, COO of Pediatric Associates. Here they discuss whether the large health systems deliver better or worse outcomes than independent physicians. They also examine the influence of big healthcare systems, the rise of value-based care, and the monopolies that dominate the industry. Throughout the episode, Andrew and Ron explore the pivotal role of primary care in our healthcare system and discuss the pervasive corruption in the world of big healthcare systems.

Andy Thompson joined Pediatric Associates as the practice’s Chief Operating Officer in November of 2022. As Pediatric Associates continues to grow its footprint nationally, he will provide operational leadership across the national pediatric practice. As COO, Thompson will collaborate across the executive leadership team and a diverse market stakeholder base to drive operational efficiency and performance while building a continuously scalable organization.

Andy has dedicated his over 20 year career in physician practice management. Previously, Thompson held the same role at VillageMD, a national provider of value-based primary care services. Prior to Pediatric Associates and VillageMD, Thompson has excelled in several COO roles for both traditional and private equity backed organizations including Mercy and Bon Secours. At VillageMD, he built the operating model and created the structure for operations using analytics and other mechanisms to drive rigor.

Thompson has a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a master’s in healthcare administration from Missouri State University. He currently lives in Dallas, TX. Outside of work Andy is an avid tennis player, father, and husband.

Episode # 201 – Leon Wisniewski Round 2 is On Fire with a New App, Billy, Allowing All of Us to Easily See Local Hospital Pricing on Any Procedure. All You Need is a CPT Code and You’re Off..!

In this episode, Ron chats with Leon Wisniewski, Founder of Health Cost Labs & Co-Founder of Billy – a consumer focused healthcare payment tool. Here, Leon discusses how Billy works, how it takes price transparency to a whole new level, how it creates hospital competition that will ultimately bring prices down, and much more!

Leon worked at large Blue Cross for over 15 years as an actuarial analyst, contract analyst, in payment integrity and in informatics. In these roles he modeled claims data to project spend, created fee schedules, supported contract negotiations with doctors and hospitals, identified recoveries by finding claims that did not pay correctly and modeled payment policy impact changes. More recently he worked at a population health company making benchmarks to inform companies of opportunities to make better decisions. With full experience in the managed care space he believes nothing is more effective to lowering cost and reducing doctor abrasion than knowing the price for treatment and creating data fluidity which will greatly reduce over-utilization and misdiagnosis.

He has a BA in Information Management from Holy Family University, lives in the Philadelphia area, is married, has two kids, and belongs to his church.

Episode # 200 – Primary Care Cures Celebrates its 200th Episode with Host Ron Barshop

A lot has changed in healthcare since Ron Barshop started the podcast in 2019. On this 200th episode of Primary Care Cures, Ron reflects on the multitude of conversations he’s had with thought leaders from across the country, the growth of the podcast, the current retail disruptor wars in healthcare, federal complicity, and who is profiting from the massive headwinds healthcare has faced since the start of the podcast and specifically since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ron Barshop was Executive Vice President of Phone Power where he grew an inbound telemarketing tax service firm from 5 to 50 employees in under 2 years as the sole business development officer — he recruited clients such as WalMart, Hilton, Kelly Services and McDonalds before age 25.As President of the Financial Process Group he grew the agency from 3-50 employees into a top 2% performer.He served asPresident of a 3 city AM money talk radio network which under his leadership,raised several million in capital and  increased revenues over 120% in 18 months.He was Co-Founder and CEO of APMD, an ancillary income physical medicine service add on in Primary Care Physician offices as well as Smart Allergy Labs which grew to 50 clinics in three states In its first 9 months.
Most recently served as  CEO of Beacon Clinics a leading ancillary income firm for primary care providers. Beacon clinics was a top-in-class  national leader in allergy outcomes , patient volume and safety protocols.
He has won numerous leadership awards and honors in Texas and has served on multiple statewide and San Antonio civic boards. Ron  has led several capital campaigns for nonprofits all exceeding the goal .He is a guest lecturer at the Boise State University Master in Population & Health Systems Management program.
He led two angel networks, including founding Angel SA– the members funded the first round of RackSpace, and including Chairing The Capital Network which raised
over $100M in angel capital for startups under his tenure.
He is father to three adult sons and has completed 10 marathons.

Episode # 199 – Dr. Cristin Dickerson Has Served 18,000/yr at Green Imaging with 3,000 Centers where Costs Drop 60% with Equal or Better Quality. This is a Preferred Diagnostic Network Defined — Round 2!

In this episode Ron brings Dr. Cristin Dickerson back on the show. Here, she discusses the Green Imaging business model, how they focus on providing fairly priced imaging, her thoughts on what the ideal health plan would be, and more.

Dr. Cristin A. Dickerson is the founding partner of Green Imaging. She is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Dickerson completed her radiology residency at UT Houston, where she was a chief resident, with extensive training in cancer imaging at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Dickerson practiced for 13 years at the Diagnostic Clinic of Houston where she served as a two-term president of the 50 physician clinic and oversaw a self-funded health plan. Her clinical interests include oncologic (cancer) MRI and CT and PET/CT, breast imaging, and cardiac screening.

She founded Green Imaging in 2011 to provide affordable, high-quality medical imaging for uninsured and high deductible patients in Houston and rapidly expanded the company to provide services throughout most of the US and to employer-sponsored health plans. She loves being able to provide quality services to patients who otherwise couldn’t afford them and delivering significant imaging cost savings to patients with healthcare coverage and their employers without compromising quality. Dr. Dickerson is passionate about spreading the word that patients and employers do have great new nontraditional healthcare coverage options in the fast-growing alternative healthcare market.

Episode # 198 – Dr. Paula Muto has 5,000 Specialists and 10,000 in Process to join UBERDOC a Consumer to Doctor Marketplace.

In this episode Ron chats with Paula Muto, Founder & CEO of UBERDOC. UBERDOC is where direct-pay patients go to find the care they need without the barriers that limit choice, cause delay, and cost more. They are building a fee-for-service model that re-establishes an efficient and direct-connection between doctor and patient. Here she discusses what inspired her to start UBERDOC, why doctors are excited about joining UBERDOC, how their model works, and more.

UBERDOC Founder and CEO Paula M. Muto, MD FACS, is a practicing vascular and general surgeon in solo practice and the owner of Muto Vein Center. She is a member of a family of physicians and surgeons who have collectively practiced medicine in Massachusetts for over 50 years. She is an outspoken advocate for patient care and is passionate about women’s health issues.

Episode # 197 – Donald Trigg is an Author and CEO of apree Health, A Combination of Digital Health Innovator Castlight Health and Advanced Primary Care Leader Vera Whole Health.

In this episode Ron chats with Donald Trigg, CEO of apree Health. Here he discusses how apree health is building the first integrated health network that combines data-driven personalization, a coordinated care model, and aligned incentives which aims to unlock value and make life better for those they serve. He also discusses his partnership with JPMorgan Chase, and what he sees in the apree Health’s future.

Donald Trigg is the chief executive officer of apree Health, a combination of digital health innovator Castlight Health and advanced primary care leader Vera Whole Health.

Trigg has spent almost two decades at the intersection of health care and information technology. He served as President of Fortune 500 electronic medical record provider Cerner Corporation. As President, he held general management, P&L, and operational responsibilities for the full breadth of Cerner’s business groups. Prior to his role as President, Trigg held senior leadership roles at the company including executive vice president of Strategic Growth where he led a set of businesses that encompassed Cerner’s strategies around value-based care and Workforce Health. He also was managing director of the United Kingdom and Ireland, general manager of the U.S. Midwest region, and the first-ever vice president of Cerner’s government practice.

Trigg also has experience scaling early-stage growth businesses. He led the execution of Natural Language Processing (NLP) leader CodeRyte’s rapid growth plan, culminating in its acquisition by 3M in 2012. He also brings deep public policy experience to his role at apree Health including a decade in Washington, D.C. in senior policy roles in both the legislative and the executive branch. Trigg earned a BS from St. Lawrence University and is co-author of The New Health Economy: Ground Rules for Leaders (Georgetown University Press).

Episode # 196 – Dr. Keith Smith Launched the First Transparent Bundled Price Surgery Center Which has Now Served 100,000 Since 1997 and has Made its Mark Affecting System Pricing and Reducing Costs 20-60% for Employers and Consumers with Quality Metrics Unsurpassed.

In this episode Ron brings Keith Smith, Medical Director at Surgical Center of Oklahoma back on the show to discuss the importance of transparent pricing in healthcare and how he helped to pioneer that movement. He also discusses how other organizations are copying the Surgery Center of Oklahoma pricing model, how the government is not doing enough to make a positive change in healthcare, the importance of direct contracting and free market competition, and more.

In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available. His most recent effort is the launch of the Free Market Medical Association which provides a platform where those seeking to obtain high quality and affordable health care can find free market-minded providers, both physicians and facilities.

Operation of this free market medical practice, the standard for all who have embraced this practice approach, has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs and improve quality of care for all.

He has made appearances on the John Stossel Show, CNBC, Huffington Post, The O’Reilly Factor, Capital Account, The Ron Paul Channel, NBC Nightly News and has been featured by Reason Magazine’s TV division. The New York Times, Time Magazine, ABC news, Forbes and many others have written articles featuring Dr. Smith’s revolutionary approach to the pricing of health care and uncompromising free market principles.

Episode # 195 – Dr. Mark Potts, as Superintendent of Ashtabula Area School District, Saved $9M Over 3 Years for an Average Annual 30% Savings… 60% is Possible if All Employees Participate.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Mark Potts, President of Transformational Consulting, LLC. Here, Mark discusses his previous role as the Superintendent of the Ashtabula Area City Schools and how he discovered that that his employees did not have great healthcare benefits despite ever-increasing costs. This discovery led him on a journey to get a much better benefit plan for his staff that improved outcomes and ultimately saved both the school district and the plan members a significant amount of money. This inspired Mark to start Transformational Consulting so he could help other organizations get set up with much better healthcare benefits plans than then then they are currently on.

Dr. Mark Potts is the former Superintendent of the Ashtabula Area City Schools in Ashtabula, Ohio. Since leaving that position 7 months ago, he has started Transformational Consulting, LLC whose mission is shepherding schools districts and other public entities to healthcare plans that produce better health outcomes for their employees at substantial savings.

Dr. Potts is also an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University teaching graduate education classes, and is a consultant for Bounceback, a program that helps teachers with wellness, self-care, and dealing with stress to ultimately help retain teachers in the profession.

He is a mission driven, servant leader who has also been active in his church and community.

Mark is married to Jessica, a nurse of nearly 30 years. They have a blended family with 6 children ages 20-30 – 4 of which got married in the past year.

Episode # 194 – Sharon Pearce is a Nationally Active Nursing Thought Leader Among 4M Nurses. 50% Leave the Bedside by Year 2. Here’s the Fix She’s Working On.

In this episode Ron chats with Sharon Pearce, Co-Chair of the Commission for Nurse Reimbursement. Here she discusses how nursing compensation has changed since hospitals have cut costs in nursing, how to improve compensation for nursing while improving nursing ratios, how burnout in nursing has gotten worse since COVID-19, her podcast “Beyond the Mask”, the importance of the public supporting nurses, and more.

Sharon graduated from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Hospital Nurse Anesthesia program in 1992.  She resides in North Carolina and currently works 1099 as a CRNA. Professional service includes being a past President of the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She served three years on the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) Public Relations (PR) committee and did Media Training for state associations in conjunction with the AANA Senior Director of Strategic Communications. Sharon was the producer of the AANA PR award-winning video, “The Best Kept Secret in Healthcare.” She chaired the Government Relations Committee of the AANA in 2009-2010 and has been a registered lobbyist for many years with legislative involvement for over 20 years. Board of Director service at the national level of the AANA has included Region 2 Director, Vice President, President-Elect, and President in 2014-2015. She was also inducted into the inaugural Fellows class of the AANA. Within the nursing community, she has served on the executive committee of the Nursing Organizational Alliance (NOA), which represents over 50 nursing organizations. Sharon also co-hosts a podcast, “Beyond the Mask,” which is one of the top 50 medical podcasts in the country and won the AANA PR award in 2021.  She completed her DNP in Health Care Leadership, Systems & Policy at Yale University in 2021. She was in the inaugural class of Fellows in the AANA. She was inducted into FAAN in 2022. She is a highly sought after national and international speaker on advocacy, legislative involvement, and various clinical topics.

Sharon ran for the North Carolina State House of Representatives in 2016.  Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in her bid. The anesthesiologists opened a super PAC and gave personal donations to her opponent in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.

Sharon now co-chairs the Commission on Nurse Reimbursement with Rebecca Love. The Commission has a lofty goal to change the way nursing is reimbursed for the valuable work nurses do.

In the civic arena, Sharon has been involved in the diabetic community for many years. She is the daughter of an insulin-dependent diabetic as well as the mother of an insulin-dependent diabetic.  One of her twins was diagnosed at the age of five and has worn an insulin pump for nearly 22 years.  She served on the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Also, she started and chaired a Walk to Cure Diabetes in High Point North Carolina for four years, which raised nearly half a million dollars for diabetes research.  Sharon has served on the Diabetes Advisory Council in North Carolina for 17 years.

Sharon has been married to Mike Pearce for 39 years. They have three grown children- Brett, and twins Michelle and Danielle. Her daughter Michelle is married to Grant Brekken, also a CRNA, keeping the profession in the family.

Episode # 193 – Frank Dumont Round 2. Members of Virta Health have Reduced a1c 60% Below Baseline for 5 Years Across Demographics Age and Sex and at Scale.

In this episode Dr. Frank Dumont returns to the show. Frank is the Commercial Medical Director at Virta Health. Here, he discusses reversing Type 2 diabetes, how Virta has been able to replicate the success they have seen in their clinical trials, and more. He also shares how Virta has been able to deprescribe diabetes medication, even across multiple demographics, as their patients have changed their lifestyles.

Dr. Frank Dumont currently serves as a clinician and Commercial Medical Director at Virta Health. Prior to joining Virta, he worked in a hospital-owned clinic for nearly 20 years, where he practiced outpatient and inpatient medicine and served as medical director of the wellness service line for the medical center. Dr. Dumont has been devoted to improving healthcare delivery for over two decades, participating in organized medicine as a young physician representative to the AMA and serving on the Colorado Medical Society Board of Directors. He received his MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and today is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Dumont lives in Estes Park, Colorado at the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.