Episode #47 – Redefining what it means to be a Health Insurer, with Dr. Harold Paz

The major theme of this interview is how a traditional healthcare insurance company – Aetna – is redefining what it means to be a payer.

They are reorganizing healthcare delivery to be much more engaging of consumers, and they’re doing it with numerous collaborators, in non-traditional ways.

Our guest this week has an impressive academic and executive background. Dr. Harold Paz is an executive vice president and the chief medical officer for Aetna. He leads clinical strategy and policy at the intersection of all of Aetna’s domestic and global businesses.

Before joining Aetna in 2014, Dr. Paz served as chief executive officer of Penn State Hershey Medical Center & Health System, and dean of its college of medicine. Prior to his appointment to Penn State, he spent 11 years as dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and chief executive officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group, the largest multispecialty group practice in New Jersey.

What you’ll hear in this interview includes:

  • The “three pillars” of Aetna’s clinical strategy: member engagement, creating a health ecosystem for consumers, and value-based contracting.
  • The novel and non-traditional ways that Aetna is creating outcomes-based healthcare solutions.
  • The innovative, highly collaborative and value-enhancing joint ventures that Aetna has entered into with provider groups, pharma & device manufacturers.
  • Aetna’s Wellness Index – a comprehensive survey that is redefining what health and well-being look like.
  • Examples of how Aetna is designing and deploying the “third curve” of healthcare personalization and consumerism.
  • Aetna’s approach to combating the opioid epidemic in our country.

This work that Dr. Paz shares with us is a spectacular example of what forward-thinking leaders and leadership teams can do within the traditional legacy system – to redesign and reorganize healthcare delivery. Dr. Paz and his colleagues are clearly breaking the mold of what an insurance company can be, and do.

As I listened to example after example of the innovative initiatives and collaborations Aetna is deploying, I was struck by how they are tearing down the constricting walls of the past, and crossing boundaries in ways that are on point to create a better healthcare system.