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Fortune 500 Leaders Focus On Buying Better, Faster, More Affordable Care

SEATTLE (Jan. 24, 2012) - CEOs and executives from some of the nation's largest companies will gather in San Francisco Jan. 26-27 to learn about the strategies used by Boeing, Intel and others to purchase better, faster and more affordable care for their employees while actually lowering their total spend on health care.

The CEO Summit will take place at the Fairmont San Francisco from 6:30 to 10 p.m. PST Thursday, Jan. 26, and from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. PST Friday, Jan. 27.

Presenters include:

  • Bill Crounse, MD, Senior Director, Microsoft Worldwide Health
  • Arnie Milstein, MD Professor of Medicine, Stanford University; Member, Institute of Medicine Founder; Pacific Business Group on Health Co-founder, the Leapfrog Group
  • Patricia McDonald Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation
  • Gary S. Kaplan, MD Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Complete information, including the full agenda and a list of presenters and their biographies, can be found by clicking here.

"The secret to health care reform isn't legislation, it is transparency and collaboration," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. "Employers should demand transparency from health care providers about the cost and quality of care, just like they do from every one of their vendors. Health care providers should focus on delivering what is important to their customers. This summit will give CEOs realistic, pragmatic and straightforward advice on how to apply value-based purchasing in their marketplaces today."

At the heart of the summit is the development of "Marketplace Collaboratives" which were pioneered by summit host Virginia Mason in response to concerns by some of its key customers.

In 2010, Virginia Mason was named by the Leapfrog Group as one of only two "Hospital of the Decade" winners based on its high quality outcomes and lower costs. But it wasn't always that way.

In 2004, several large self-funded employers and a big insurance carrier in the Pacific Northwest delivered a startling wake-up call to Virginia Mason's leadership. In spite of long-standing relationships and good outcomes, the cost of using the medical center's services and doctors was too high. If something didn't change, they would consider excluding Virginia Mason from their network of health care providers.

Rather than just slash the bill, Virginia Mason saw it as an opportunity to work with these employers to create something better. The result was a 7-step approach built on purchasing power, customer needs, evidence-based care and transparency. The entire relationship would be predicated on a new definition of quality as defined by the employers: better, faster and more affordable.

Focused on the most common employee complaints, such as lower back pain and common headache, these "Marketplace Collaboratives" have become a blueprint for improving quality as the pathway to lower costs and were recently detailed in the October 2011 issue of Health Affairs.

Virginia Mason is the recipient of some of the nation's most prestigious awards for improving quality and lowering costs including "Top Hospital of the Decade" and 2012 "Top Hospital" award from the Leapfrog Group and the 2012 Distinguished Hospital Award and American's 100 Best Specialty Hospital designations for cardiac and gastrointestinal services from HealthGrades.

Media coverage is welcome. If you are interested in covering the CEO Summit or speaking with any of the presenters, please contact John Gillespie, Virginia Mason Media Relations, at (206) 341-1509 (office), (206) 402-2822 (mobile) or by email at

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility and chronic care management program for people with HIV/AIDS. The medical center is affiliated with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit or or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

For media inquiries, contact:

John Gillespie
(206) 341-1509 (office)
(206) 402-2822 (mobile)


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