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The role of the entrepreneur in health care delivery: the Geisinger Health System – xG Health Solutions example

Authors Steinberg E, Steele Jr G

Received 6 March 2015

Accepted for publication 26 March 2015

Published 1 June 2015 Volume 2015:2 Pages 25—31


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Rubin Pillay

Earl P Steinberg,1 Glenn D Steele Jr2

1xG Health Solutions, Columbia, MD, 2Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA, USA

Abstract: The Geisinger Health System (GHS) is a well-established, not-for-profit enterprise that delivers health care and provides health insurance. Having started reengineering the way it delivers care nearly two decades ago, GHS is one of a handful of entities that is well prepared for a shift from fee-for-service to value-based payment. In 2009, GHS’ Board of Directors added to GHS’ mission the “scaling and generalizing” of the approaches GHS has employed to distinguish itself as a model for how health care should be delivered. This expanded mission was based in part on a desire to become a leader in helping other health care providers improve their clinical and financial performance. Given the increasingly challenging health care payment environment, a decision was made to try, in the course of pursuing this goal, to create a financial return for GHS on the substantial investments GHS had made in innovations over the past two decades. Because of a belief that generalizing, scaling, and commercializing products and services are fundamentally different from delivering health care, and a recognition that GHS employees lacked the time and resources to scale and generalize, GHS created a free-standing, for-profit entity – xG Health Solutions – funded in large part by a venture capital firm, to commercialize GHS intellectual property. This entrepreneurial venture has proven that the tools and methods used at GHS can be adapted and used to help other health care delivery systems reduce the cost and improve the quality of the care they deliver. Although it is too soon to know how successful xG Health Solutions will be, it has grown substantially during its first 2 years, and appears to have confirmed that GHS' judgment that a separate, but related, entrepreneurial entity was a good way to “scale and generalize” GHS' health care performance improvement intellectual property.

Keywords: entrepreneurial, intellectual property, health care, value-based payment, quality of care

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