First fe­male MGMA CEO

Brings in­ter­nal medicine, IT ex­pe­ri­ence to job

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Andis Robeznieks

he new CEO of the Med­i­cal Group Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion will be the first woman and the sec­ond physi­cian to lead the or­ga­ni­za­tion and its cre­den­tial­ing and stan­dards-set­ting body, the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Med­i­cal Prac­tice Ex­ec­u­tives.

Dr. Su­san Tur­ney, CEO and ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Wis­con­sin Med­i­cal So­ci­ety, was named as the suc­ces­sor to Dr. Wil­liam Jessee, who re­tires in Septem­ber.

Jessee, who Mod­ern Health­care and Mod­ern Physi­cian read­ers named six times to the list of the 50 Most Pow­er­ful Physi­cian Ex­ec­u­tives (most re­cently No. 33 in 2010), has led the MGMA for 12 years and an­nounced in March 2010 that he would re­tire on Sept. 25 of this year.

Tur­ney, whose age was not pro­vided, served

Tas the MGMA’s 2005-06 board chair­woman and has led the WMS since 2004. She was the first physi­cian and first woman hired as the Wis­con­sin or­ga­ni­za­tion’s CEO. “Cer­tainly, her pre­vi­ous ser­vice with MGMA as its board chair made her a fa­mil­iar face, and she’s also a sig­nif­i­cant force within the health­care com­mu­nity,” said Alan Win­kler, ACMPE board chair­man and vice pres­i­dent of clinic op­er­a­tions for the St. Vin­cent Health Sys­tem, Lit­tle Rock, Ark. “She’s fa­mil­iar with (health­care in­dus­try) stake­hold­ers; she’s fa­mil­iar with our pri­or­i­ties.”

Pre­vi­ously, Tur­ney was the med­i­cal di­rec­tor for pa­tient fi­nan­cial ser­vices at Marsh­field (Wis.) Clinic, where she prac- ticed as an in­ternist for 22 years. She also co-founded the Wis­con­sin Health In­for­ma­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The MGMA’s cur­rent chair­woman, Shena Scott, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Bre­vard Anes­the­sia Ser­vices, Mel­bourne, Fla., said be­ing a physi­cian was not a re­quire­ment for the MGMA CEO post, but Tur­ney’s in­ter­nal medicine back­ground was “a plus.”

Scott also called Tur­ney’s in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy back­ground “an­other strength that will be help­ful.” Win­kler echoed the sen­ti­ment.

“What she cre­ated in Wis­con­sin is re­ally vi­sion­ary,” Win­kler said, adding that Tur­ney helped cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where data, which was once viewed as pro­pri­etary, is now shared in the in­ter­est of im­prov­ing qual­ity.

The MGMA, based in En­gle­wood, Colo., and founded in 1926, has 22,500 mem­bers who lead 13,700 med­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions where ap­prox­i­mately 275,000 physi­cians prac­tice. Its first ex­ec­u­tive leader, with the ti­tle of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, was hired in 1961.

Tur­ney’s back­ground called a “plus.”

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