Ja­son Dinger

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE - —Beth Kutscher

Ja­son Dinger has been called the “res­i­dent en­tre­pre­neur” at St. Thomas Health Sys­tem, Nashville. Be­fore he joined the five-hospi­tal sys­tem, he had al­ready started and sold his own con­sult­ing com­pany. He be­gan his health­care ca­reer work­ing as a hospi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor in ru­ral Zim­babwe, help­ing to de­sign new build­ings and set up other in­fra­struc­ture. So when it came time to build the sys­tem’s ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tion—a new health­care de­liv­ery model—Dr. Mike Schat­zlein, CEO of St. Thomas Health, knew who to choose for the job.

Dinger, 38, stepped into the CEO role of Mis­sionPoint Health Part­ners last year, tasked with de­vel­op­ing a vi­sion for the ACO, as­sem­bling a team and launch­ing the pro­gram.

The ACO for­mally launched in Au­gust 2011. At the time, Dinger set a goal of get­ting 400 physi­cians on board to care for Mis­sionPoint’s 13,000 mem­bers, in­clud­ing St. Thomas’ own as­so­ci­ates.

By Jan­uary, more than 1,000 physi­cians had signed on and in July, the CMS chose the ACO for in­clu­sion in its shared-sav­ings pro­gram. Dinger says he ex­pects Mis­sionPoint to have 50,000 mem­bers by the end of 2012.

“Thus far, we’ve ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions,” he says. “There are a lot of gaps in care, and what Mis­sionPoint does is fill in the gaps.” Schat­zlein com­pares the en­ergy at Mis­sionPoint to Google, not­ing that the group is filled with young, cre­ative peo­ple with new ideas about health­care; it is also adopt­ing new tech­nol­ogy to meet cost sav­ings and qual­ity tar­gets.

Mis­sionPoint is us­ing a prod­uct from the Ad­vi­sory Board Co. for qual­ity mea­sure­ment and work­ing in part­ner­ship with Cisco on a tele­health prod­uct. The ACO also uses per­son­al­ized health ser­vices such as check­ing in with pa­tients to make sure they’re tak­ing their med­i­ca­tions.

St. Thomas had a chance to glimpse Dinger’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit a few years ear­lier when he ex­panded a lo­cal pro­gram that dis­trib­uted un­used pre­scrip­tion drugs to low-in­come pa­tients in a na­tional net­work.

The pro­gram be­gan with one physi­cian in Ten­nessee who hated to see pre­scrip­tion sam­ples go to waste and sought to find a way to dis­trib­ute them to pa­tients who couldn’t af­ford their med­i­ca­tion.

The pro­gram, now known as the Dis­pen­sary of Hope, was given to Dinger in 2007 to grow. It has lo­ca­tions in 15 states and more than 1,300 physi­cians who do­nate drugs. Dinger says it’s sim­i­lar to the Net­flix model, mean­ing clin­ics can go on­line and make re­quests for med­i­ca­tions to have sent to them.

“He can take a con­cept and he can ar­tic­u­late it in such a way that peo­ple be­come en­gaged very quickly,” says Greg Pope, St. Thomas’ vice pres­i­dent of phi­lan­thropy. “He’s an en­tre­pre­neur at heart. He’s a so­cial en­tre­pre­neur.”

“He can take a con­cept and ... ar­tic­u­late it in such a way that peo­ple be­come en­gaged very quickly.”

38, CEO, Mis­sionPoint Health Part­ners, Nashville

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