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President cites Geisinger, others

Obama has mentioned Geisinger as an example of a system that works.

For the second time in as many months, President Barack Obama has used Geisinger Health System as an example of “efficiency” in health care.

During an interview with Time magazine, the president used the term to describe the health care system and others in an interview published in Time’s Aug. 10 edition.

In the Time article, Obama discusses the difficult task of piecing together health care legislation. He discusses his grandmother and her health care provider – Kaiser Permanente – which he called one of the “models of high-quality, cost-efficient care that’s out there right now.” He said Kaiser Permanente is able to maintain a stable base of patients by utilizing a “whole team approach” that has proven to be effective.

“So my grandmother was generally very happy with her care, and if we could actually get our health-care system across the board to hit the efficiency levels of a Kaiser Permanente or a Cleveland Clinic or a Mayo or a Geisinger, we actually would have solved our problems.”

In a June 11 speech at Green Bay Southwest High School, Obama mentioned Geisinger as a health-care industry model.

“We have to ask why places like the Geisinger Health System in rural Pennsylvania ... can offer high-quality care at costs well below average, but other places in America can’t,” Obama said in the speech. “We need to identify the best practices across the country, learn from the success, and replicate that success elsewhere.”

Geisinger’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Glenn Steele was interviewed on CNN regarding the system’s innovative approaches to providing health-care quality and value. The CNN news feature was titled “Health Reform Up Close” and aired July 31.

Dave Jolley, associate vice president of public affairs at Geisinger, said Geisinger has long been focused on providing high quality and high value for its patients.

“We have been recognized nationally for our innovative programs such as Proven Care, for following established best medical practices, for various medical procedures such as cardiac surgery and for providing that care for a set price,” Jolley said. “Geisinger has implemented an extensive electronic health record throughout the health system. Among the many benefits to electronic health records are improved care and extensive efforts to help people stay healthy.”

Jolley said Geisinger is proud to be a part of the national discussion on health-care reform.

“It is gratifying that the president and others in Washington are recognizing our ongoing efforts to provide the best care possible while working to control costs,” Jolley said. “Health-care reform is an important topic across the nation, and we are pleased that Geisinger is involved in the discussion.”

Founded in 1915, Geisinger is a physician-led health-care system, dedicated to health care, education, research and service spanning 43 counties of 20,000 square miles and serving 2.6 million people.

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