Health Care Quality and Measurement Leader visits the SOM

June 12, 2015

Allison Bayer

Allison Bayer, Principal at Health Management Associates visits HCMBA course, Health Care Quality and Measurement taught by Professor Yong-Taek Min

Health Care MBA students at the Simmons School of Management had the pleasure of hearing Allison Bayer, Principal at Health Management Associates and former EVP/COO of Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) speak about her quality and performance measurement experiences at Cambridge Health Alliance.  This discussion was the perfect complement to the Health Care Quality and Measurement course with Professor Yong-Taek Min.  

Bayer spoke about the unique challenges Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) faces as the only remaining public health system in Massachusetts, and a key safety net provider with a 74% public payer mix.  

Professor Min commented that Bayer had great experience with change management, "Allison had been working for Cambridge Health Alliance for a long time, so she could share how a Safety Net health care institute could make a successful improvement and organizational change with only limited resources." 

CHA has been able to maintain its commitment to managing population health through health care reform changes by a large investment in informatics and focus on operational consistency and controlling costs. Bayer noted that with alternative payment models, CHA is now being reimbursed based on outcomes instead of cost, and the need for baseline and trend data was and continues to be critical. 

Bayer enthusiastically shared the dramatic success of one of CHA’s many projects: their automated interpreter request service.  They leveraged technology to expand and centralize its interpreter services in order to increase efficiency and expand access and coverage.  CHA’s creative approach included the purchase of dispatch software, freeing its dispatchers to return to the field and increase patient access to translators.

Michelle Hadley '16SM shared, "It was inspirational to hear how they maintained consistency and standards across their campuses and at the same time were able to focus on the unique linguistic and cultural needs of their patients at each location."

By utilizing innovative approaches to data tracking and technology, Allison Bayer’s visit to the SOM was inspirational for future health care leaders as they work on challenges in the industry.

Contributions to this article by: Michelle Hadley ‘16SM