Kaiser's New President: Looking for More Doctors

Feb 7, 2020

The Kaiser Foundation’s Health Plan and Hospitals has a new president. He’s been on the job for a few months now, and his early priorities include improving care. Part of reaching that goal includes finding more doctors.

Ron Vance started his new job just 100 days ago and is still in assessment mode overseeing a system with 4,500 employees and 250,000 members statewide. But he tells PBN in this week’s cover story that certain priorities are already clear.

One is Hawaii’s doctor shortage, which is impacting all health systems and their patients, including Kaiser. Vance has already spoken with Gov. David Ige about possible remedies, such as public-private partnerships, increased collaboration between community stakeholders, and a better pipeline through the education system for aspiring doctors. He sees the shortage as an opportunity for job growth in the sector.

Vance is looking at the issue of improving post-acute care in the Kaiser system, including increasing the supply of post-acute care beds for patients. This includes working with Maui Health System, which Kaiser operates since taking over the state hospitals there in 2016. The need for post-acute care beds there is especially great.

Vance has been in the administrative side of healthcare for more than 30 years, most recently as president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, where we led a group of 6,000 employees. That included 1,200 physicians, in a system serving 600,000 members.