John Baackes of Senior Whole Health Lectures on Healthcare Costs: Jan. 28

January 11, 2010

John Baackes, chief executive officer of Senior Whole Health (SWH), which operates plans for dual-eligible beneficiaries in Mass., Ct. and N.Y., spoke on “How to Pay for Healthcare,” at Southern Vermont College on Thursday, January 28. This lecture was of value to anyone participating in the healthcare system and to those working in the field.

As national debate on healthcare reform continues and Congressional bills take shape, this lecture examined the different alternative reimbursement methodologies and how they can influence overall costs, utilization of services, patterns of care, provider organization structures and cost to patients. Baackes, a preeminent advocate of helping to keep healthcare affordable for all, will also discuss the incentives inherent in the various models that are beneficial to each party and the prevailing trends. “Whatever change is adopted will influence the future of careers in medical care,” Baackes notes.

Baackes’ address was part of the College’s James L. FitzGerald Annual Invitational Health Services Lecture series, His organization, Senior Whole Health, is a health plan for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. His goal for SWH, to protect seniors by making it easier for them to get the quality healthcare they need, has been seen as a model to improve the overall access and quality of elderly care in both the public and private sectors.

Before joining SWH in 2005, Baackes served as senior vice president of Group Health, Inc., in N.Y. He was also president of Kaiser Permanente Northeast Division and president of Community Health Plan in Latham, N.Y.

Since 1997, Baackes has been a member of the Medicaid Managed Care Advisory Review Panel, frequently lectures and is a former faculty member of the National HMO Management Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C.