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CONVERSATION “Employers are now thinking about how to manage resources within healthcare ... and they’re interested in innovative strategies and new partnerships with healthcare facilities.” “UCLA has extraordinary advantages because it has a cadre of faculty who are looking to innovate in this area.” 16 U MAGAZINE How does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affect an academic institution such as UCLA? Dr. Cherry: A lot of changes actually started before the ACA. We are looking more systematically at managing the health of populations, potentially in collaboration with other employers. Employers are now thinking about how to manage resources within healthcare, as well, and they’re interested in innovative strategies and new partnerships with healthcare facilities. An example of such a partnership is UCLA’s new collaboration with other leading healthcare centers in Los Angeles and Orange counties to offer an integrated, multicenter health-plan option through a new Anthem Blue Cross entity called Vivity. The California Public Employee’s Retirement system already has signed on as the plan’s first major customer. In another example, some very-large employers are developing centers of clinical excellence, not just within their local community, but also at places distant from their primary location. For certain types of tertiary and quaternary care, patients are traveling to facilities where the employer knows that the outcomes are consistent and strong. Employers want to know that their workers, who go to particular facilities for certain types of care, are not only getting high- quality care, but they’re also getting it at a cost that may be less than if they were to go to a local hospital or, in some cases, a local academic medical center. For us to be able to compete in that environment, we need to demonstrate that we can provide services to patients that employers will find attractive as well. In addition, employers are looking very carefully at their network of physicians and hospitals, and they are starting to develop preferred-provider networks so that they can manage their employee population with a set of healthcare facilities that are favorable in terms of the types of healthcare outcomes they are seeking. They are also reading publicly reported measures and making judgments about organizations. With that degree of transparency, it becomes very important that we put our best foot forward so that we’re attractive to employers and health plans. Finally, some large companies are starting to consider public and private healthcare exchanges, and that’s putting pressure on academic medical centers, which are structured for high-end complex tertiary and quaternary care, making the cost structure unfavorable for a lot of routine care. It means that we need to deliver value in the care that we’re providing — whether it’s primary and secondary care or tertiary and quaternary care. What advantages does UCLA offer over some of these other options for employers? Dr. Cherry: UCLA has extraordinary advantages because it has a cadre of faculty who are looking to innovate in this area. From a health-system- leadership point of view, we have a chief innovation officer, Dr. Molly Coye, who encourages faculty and other staff to look at creative ways of redesigning care within the institution through new technology and innovative treatment models. In addition, we have a chief operations officer, Shannon O’Kelley,