George C. Halvorson, Chairman and chief executive
George C. Halvorson is chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Foundation
Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., headquartered in Oakland, California.
Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest nonprofit health plan and hospital system,
serving about 8.6 million members and generating $42 billion in annual revenue.
Kaiser Permanente has been investing heavily in electronic medical records and
physician support systems over the past five years. More than 10 million patients now
have their records in the computers. The medical records are designed to provide
information to the patients and coordinate their care among doctors, nurses, and other
Kaiser Permanente also is a leader in electronic connectivity between doctors and
patients, with more than six million “e-visits” this year being chosen by patients instead of
face-to-face clinical visits.
Halvorson serves on the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven
Health Care, the American Hospital Association’s Advisory Committee on Health Reform,
and the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. He
serves on the board of the America’s Health Insurance Plans and the board of the
Alliance of Community Health Plans. Halvorson chairs the International Federation of
Health Plans and co-chairs the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Annual National
Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care. In 2009, he chaired the World Economic
Forum’s Health Governors meetings in Davos. He has received the Modern
Healthcare/Health Information and Management Systems Society CEO IT Achievement
Award. The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange also awarded him the 2009 Louis
Sullivan Award for leadership and achievements in advancing health care quality...
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Halvorson was president and chief executive officer of
HealthPartners, headquartered in Minneapolis. With more than 30 years of health care
management experience, he has also held several senior management positions with Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
George Halvorson, CEO Kaiser Permanente
George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente Reveals the Most Important Thing CEOs -
and People - Can Do to Cut Healthcare Costs to Robert Reiss on The CEO TV Show
September 08, 2011
George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, reveals the most important thing CEOs
and people can do to cut healthcare costs on this week’s CEO TV Show. Halvorson
provides his view on the role of the CEO, what CEOs should do about healthcare costs,
and his recommended model for better healthcare in America. Halvorson also discusses
the need for a company to balance its internal and external focus, and goes on to identify
three other specific things that CEOs should to control healthcare costs.
Ridgefield, CT --(PR.com)-- George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, reveals the
most important thing CEOs can do to cut healthcare costs to host Robert Reiss on this
week’s CEO TV Show. Halvorson, as CEO of the nation's largest nonprofit health plan and
hospital system, has a unique vantage point serving over 8 million members in 9 states
and the District of Columbia.
In an in-depth conversation with Reiss, Halvorson provides his view on the role of the
CEO, what CEOs should do about healthcare costs, and what ultimately the model for
better healthcare in America should be. Halvorson says, "The CEO is accountable for the
total success of the organization. He doesn't do it alone, and sometimes he has to
emphasize strategy, and sometimes teamwork, but he's accountable. Ultimately the job
comes down to having the right people and making sure the team wins. There is no
substitute for having the right people; you can have a perfect strategy, but with the wrong
people you will fail."
One of the other keys, Halvorson explains, is ensuring the executive team balances
internal and external focus, with external focus more important. "We require our senior
executives to attend trade shows on a regular basis, not to listen to the speeches, but to
visit the exhibitor's stands. That's where the exhibitors are selling the next generation of
solutions for the future. They're always full of new ideas. So we focus on that a lot."
When Reiss asks "What should CEOs do about controlling healthcare costs?" Halvorson
"First, companies have to provide their employees with 'team-care.'"
“Second, they should shift their focus away from dealing with medical problems; they have
to focus on the health of their employees, not just provide for their sicknesses. Making
employees healthy cuts their costs more effectively than just dealing with the sicknesses.”
“And third,” Halvorson relates, “the most important thing that CEOs can do is cultivate a
‘culture of walking’ within their company."
"Walking is almost magical," Halvorson explains. "If you walk 30 minutes a day - that can
be 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night - five times a week, it can cut
diabetes by 50%, heart attacks by 1/3rd, strokes by 1/3rd, and even cancer by 1/3rd. And
it has a huge impact on depression, too."
For more insights into how to solve some of the nation's healthcare problems, listen to the
full interview at www.ceoshow.tv.
The CEO TV Show, a service of The CEO Show (www.ceoshow.com), is a weekly program
based on a series of video interviews with top CEOs who have changed the fabric of
American society hosted by Robert Reiss. In addition to being available at the website
above, it is also hosted on a number of affiliate websites, including ACG New York,
Vistage, Entrepreneurs Organization, Small Giants, Senn Delaney, and others. The CEO
TV Show is sponsored by IBM, Senn Delaney, Sodexo, and Inter-Continental Hotels.
For more information, contact: Patric Hale, General Manager, "The CEO Show"
(firstname.lastname@example.org) www.ceoshow.com, www.ceoshow.tv.
George C. Halvorson
Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
NCQA Board of Directors
Formerly with Health Partners of Minnesota
Even though it's a "not-for-profit" company, Kaiser has made $5
billion in profits since 2009 and pays George Halvorson, it's
CEO, nearly $8 million a year.
Minnesota Attorney General investigation of Kaiser
Permanente CEO George Halvorson and others
The Kaiser Papers
Special Thanks to The State of Minnesota Attorney General's Office - Lori Swanson, Attorney General and
George Halvorson, current CEO of Kaiser Health Plan and Hospitals, a non profit
HMO and the Permanente Medical Group was found to be funding a lavish lifestyle
off of patient money while employed at Kaiser partner organization, HealthPartners
of Minnesota. HealthPartners is also designated by the I.R.S. as a non profit, public benefit
Halvorson went and took a job with Kaiser rather than stick around and take the heat from
getting caught with his shady dealings in Minnesota. You decide if he brought his special
business practices from Minnesota to California.
Here is the link to the "Stipulation and Order for Appointment of Special Administrator"
rendered by the Attorney General of the State of Minnesota:
Also please view the statement made by Mike Hatch, the Attorney General of Minnesota at
the time, regarding what was revealed during this investigation as presented to the Senate
STATEMENT OF MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL
MIKE HATCH BEFORE THE SENATE FINANCE
COMMITTEE APRIL 5, 2005
The following three folders are the contents of the State of Minnesota Office of The Attorney
General - HealthPartners Compliance Review Report. Provided in both text form. Exhibits
are in general search able pdf format.
HEALTHPARTNERS COMPLIANCE REVIEW EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION VOL I & II
"Based on the information provided by HealthPartners, there is a question as to whether the
compensation paid to certain executives is consistent with state and federal law. "
HealthPartners Compliance Review - Consulting Expenses - Vol I & II
A Highlight- Page 19 "The screener will ask for the contact person, then ask if that person
was treated for a short list of conditions in the past 12 months. This procedure is designed
to avoid the perception that the interviewer knows personal details regarding the
respondent's medical history. Only those indicating treatment for diabetes will be allowed to
A Highlight - Page 15 "It should be remembered that HealthPartners is a health
maintenance organization. According to its web site, it is well aware of the crisis in the
affordability of healthcare, making repeated references to efficiency and cost. According to
its web site, it also promotes the use of "health foods" and "healthy" eating establishments.
Under these circumstances, it is difficult to justify the use of patients' premiums for alcohol
and staff forays. "
TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT
Exhibit 14 - Corporate Receipts for Massage Therapist Services during Board Meetings.
CONCLUSION TO VOL I REPORT - TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT -
"He states that he was immediately confronted with resistance, with complaints ranging from
"this is in lieu of higher compensation" to "everybody is doing it." He noted that health
care executives will be pressured to please peers and subordinates who are
accustomed to a culture of luxury. Accordingly, in an effort to create an
environment of fiscal prudence, it is recommended that, for each month during the
first six months following this report, the chair file a report with this Office which
itemizes the expenses incurred in these areas. It is hoped that, after a six month
period of fiscal prudence, the need for further reporting will be eliminated. "
Exhibits 26 - 28 - HP explanation of why they have a significant amount of out of
state travel. 179 trips to San Francisco, 100 trips to San Diego, 99 trips to Orlando among
several other listed destinations. Halvorson expense report - Vikings Play Off Tickets,
Christmas Cards, Miami Hotel, CAQH Meeting, Dallas, Texas, Arizona, more season tickets,
Uganda Project consultation, car repair, Miami for International Summit, Mervyn's and
Liquor. Trips to Los Angeles, AT&T, Time Life Books, CAQH - Washington D.C. trip, MHHP
Dr. David Lawrence, the former CEO and chairman of
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, gave a talk
Thursday on the future of primary physicians working in
what he called an "obsolete model of care."
Lawrence -- who retired from his position at the country’s
largest managed care organization in 2002 -- spoke to a
sizable audience inside Harmony Gold Theatre in an event
organized by Zocalo Public Square. Though his
presentation was titled, “Are Primary Physicians Obsolete?,”
Lawrence was quick to clarify his speech would not be a
critique of the doctors themselves.
Instead, he said the problem was in the mythological image
of doctor as cowboy—autonomous, brave and unwilling to
accept someone else’s work when he could do it himself.
He said this notion deterred doctors from taking advantage
of outside resources and knowledge.
Lawrence summarized the problem with a quote from writer and surgeon Atul Gawande: “Medicine’s
complexity has exceeded our individual capabilities as physicians.”
The field has grown significantly over the last 50 years, Lawrence said, with new specialties emerging and
knowledge doubling every five years. He proposed these advances have eroded the system, often at the
Lawrence gave brief overviews of three systems of care that he said could reinvent the physician-patient
relationship, including team coverage, accountable care and disruptive innovation.
Two of these solutions involve collaborative work between doctors. Though he did not include specific data,
Lawrence said there was evidence that group coverage produced better outcomes for patients with chronic
He then explained that integrated care delivery system would dull the incentive of the per-service pay
system by allotting groups of physicians a lump sum for each case.
When questioned by an audience member about the danger of physicians skimping on services to keep
more money for themselves, Lawrence said administrators were still wrestling with that risk.
“There has to be transparency about how the care is given,” he said. "There has to be to some reward and
penalties for making sure you’re practicing evidence-based care, you’re monitoring safety and outcomes
and there have been a lot of attempts to do that.”
These models are already beginning to take hold in the medical community, but patients may be more
enticed by the third emergent trend Lawrence discussed.
Disruptive innovation includes developing technologies that make health care more accessible to the
masses. Lawrence said the “activation of consumers” in mobile technology, like the iTriage application for
smartphones, allows for self-management.
He said companies that have embraced these technologies are seeing increased efficiency and in one
case, health care costs reduced by 15 percent.
But transitioning toward any of these new systems, he said, would not be without obstacles. Chief among
them are developing patient trust in a group of doctors as opposed to one personal physician and moving
away from the stubborn independence still encouraged in medical training programs.
During the question and answer portion of the evening, a former employee of Lawrence’s gave testimony
that new doctors are learning to embrace the team approach. Lawrence seemed encouraged.
But when asked later whether he thought the medical field was headed in the right direction, the former
preventive medicine specialist’s optimism faltered.
“It’s still not happening the way I’d like to see it,” he said.
|The future: assembly-line medicine?
Dr. David Lawrence
Former CEO of Kaiser Foundation
Health Plan and Hosptals
[Maura Larkins comment:
Kaiser Permanente's "team" approach tends to
reduce doctors to their least common
Conformity is expected, and doctors are strongly
discouraged from exceeding the expectations of
Doctors are subservient to the financial goals of
the organization. At Kaiser, a favorite tactic for
increasing profits ($5 billion in 2009) is to give
substandard attention to patients who present
with unusual or complicated problems.]
Former Kaiser CEO Looks To
The Future of Medicine
September 16, 2011
Patients may see increased access to health care services
and more collaborative coverage from physicians in the
U.S. as those in the medical field reexamine best practices.
David Lawrence, former Kaiser CEO
Institutions tend to protect themselves
rather than those they exist to serve
Former CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan to Speak on
Entrepreneurism and Health Care
Submitted by Ellen Scott
September 29th, 2011
From RAND News:
The Albert P. Williams Lecture on Health Policy featuring the topic "Investing in Keeping
People Healthy: Entrepreneurism and Public Policy."
The health sector is replete with unique obstacles to entrepreneurial efforts. At this lecture,
Dr. David M. Lawrence will share his insights on ideas for designing and implementing public
policies that will help, not hinder, innovation.
Dr. David M. Lawrence, senior venture partner, Physic Ventures;
retired chairman and chief executive officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals...
November 07, 2011
California Health Care Personnel News Update for October 2011
Blue Shield of California
Kathy Swenson has been appointed to the position of senior vice president of Blue Shield of
California's individual, small group and government business unit, Payers & Providers
She has held the position under an interim post since last spring. Swenson previously
served as a development officer for the Mayo Clinic and chief marketing officer at Kaiser
Foundation Health Plan (Payers & Providers, 10/13).
Manager, CEO Communications
Kaiser Permanente - 1 Kaiser
Plaza, Oakland, California (San
Francisco Bay Area)
Nov. 7, 2011
Take a stand
For your career. And for health.
When you join Kaiser
Permanente, you not only build a
rewarding career—you impact
the future of health care. The
nation’s leading nonprofit
integrated health plan, Kaiser
Permanente is supported by the
professionals who build our
systems, strengthen our facilities,
and shape our future. Join us
and take a stand for your future
in Oakland, California.
Manager, CEO Communications
In this role, you will be
responsible for providing complex
implementation, and team
leadership for Kaiser Permanente
programs and projects (targeting
both internal and external
audiences). You will be part of a
team reporting to the Vice
President of Communications in
support of the office of the CEO’s
Specifically, you will have an
opportunity to play a lead role in
expertise and support to Kaiser
Permanente’s Chairman and
Desired Skills & Experience
A bachelor’s degree in
journalism, English, public
administration, or a related field.
At least ten years of experience
in a corporate communications
environment, including two years
of supervisory and/or major
project leadership experience
Recent experience in planning
and implementing complex
internal communications plans
and projects for a large, complex
organization, with a track record
of increasing responsibility
Professional-level writing and
editing skills for Web and
Excellence in directly supporting
senior executives in large
organizations and influencing
their approach to
communications while nurturing
Demonstrated excellence in
working collaboratively in a team
Experience on cross-functional,
Proven experience with
organizational change, corporate
reputation management, internal
brand reinforcement, and
The ability to respond to
emerging issues and crises
Excellent writing and editing skills
Project management experience
Familiarity with Microsoft suite of
Proficiency in using electronic
mail systems and with
researching and accessing
information from the internet
We offer a highly competitive
compensation and benefit
package. For immediate
consideration, please visit http:
//jobs.kp.org for complete
qualifications and job submission
details, referencing job number
108713. Principals only. EOE/AA
The Future of Customer Centricity: Insights from Top CEOs
Robert Reiss, Contributor
Host of The CEO Show
The heart of the word customer is “custom.” Great companies understand this. They know
building a value proposition around what customers really want – and will want in the future
– is the foundation for a leading business. To gain insights about how top CEOs connect
with customers, on December 7, 2011, I facilitated a 1-hour discussion with leaders from the
most customer centric companies in industries like: health care, financial services,
technology and food & beverage. Some insights include that in the restaurant business
tasting menus are the future, the only sustainable competitive strategy for banking now and
in the future is customer experience, and that healthcare will shift to the home.
The participants were: George Halvorson, CEO & Chairman of Kaiser Permanente,
leading healthcare provider with 180,000 employees $45 billion revenue, 36
hospitals and more than 8.9 million members; Bharat Masrani, CEO & President of TD
Bank a perennial award winner in service; Chris Artinian, CEO of Morton’s Restaurants with
77 global steakhouses and a service model with perhaps unparalleled adulation from
customers; and Raj Mirchandani, IBM’s Global Leader in digital and contact center service.
Here are their verbatim insights.
How do you create customized experiences?
Chris Artinian, Morton’s: “It goes beyond what’s on the menu. You see someone pulling out
a laptop, you know what? Let’s anticipate their needs and move them into a room where
they can plug it into a bigger screen which we have available to them. And it’s teaching the
folks to recognize those types of opportunities to make the guest feel like you’re looking out
What do you do personally to engage your organization?
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: “I send an email every Friday to every single one of
our employees. And they’re typically around 1000 words or maybe a little less. Every single
letter celebrates something that we’ve done. One of our successes has been to literally cut
the number of deaths from sepsis in half. I wrote about that success, but I didn’t write about
it from the perspective of a statistic, I wrote about it from the perspective of how horrible it is
for patients to have sepsis and what an ugly thing it is for a patient and their family to go
through that experience. And then I told our staff how important it is that we’ve done the
things that we’ve done to cut sepsis deaths in half. That makes it a personal thing for each
...George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: “It’s also important to send the message that we
are continuously improving and trying to invent the future because our people want to be
part of the future. We have multiple approaches focused on the future. We have a program
called the Garfield Center with a facility that’s set up to look like a Hollywood film studio and
we model clinical operations and hospital operations at that site. We do ergonomic redesign
there. But we also try to design what future care will look like and we try to design what the
hospital of the future will look like. The Garfield Center also has rooms that function like the
rooms people live in. We’ve concluded that the home is ultimately going to be the hub of
most care for most people not too far into the future.”
...How do you differentiate your organization?
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: “We focus on each individual patient. We want to
make sure that each care experience is the care experience that the patients want, expect
and need, feel good about. We just won the J.D. Power and Associates award for best
service of any health plan. And – Medicare just rated 459 health plans and gave nine of the
plans five stars. And five of those plans were us and our other three plans got 4.5 stars
because we’re focusing on high service levels.”
Talk about future customer needs.
Chris Artinian, Morton’s: “People are headed towards smaller plates, more tasting menus
which we’ve answered the bell there with what we’re doing in our bar with smaller plates. So
it’s really opening your hearts to the guests and making sure you stay engaged and then
communicate with them. And then also understand where trends are going so you can – so
you can continue to evolve.”
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: ”I’d like to reinforce the importance of diversity. The
customer base, the patient base is increasingly diverse and it’s important that the workforce
reflect and even anticipate the diversity of the membership base. And if you do diversity
right you can actually create a synergy and an energy from being diverse. We just won a
Diversity magazine award for the best place to work in the country for diversity. We just won
an IT award for best place to work for minority IT employees. One reason we won the
awards is because when you look at our senior executives, very diverse. Two of our
presidents run the two largest regions, one is Chinese-American, one’s African-American.
Our third largest region is run by a woman.
The reason that’s important, and having very diverse senior leadership and adds value is
that when people are looking at where they want to work and looking at what the rewards
are for working well, what they see with us is there’s no glass ceiling. We are absolutely a
What’s the CEO’s role?
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: ”The CEO’s role is to keep the organization aligned
with the right future and have the people inside the organization internally aligned,
supportive, understanding, working toward the future that we’re trying to create. If the
people at the front lines at all the hospitals and all the clinics and all the labs and imaging
centers have a sense of where we’re going, they can make day-to-day decisions that are
aligned with that direction.”
...Healthcare impacts everyone. What are the greatest challenges in healthcare today?
George Halvorson, Kaiser Permanente: “Healthcare costs are out of control. We have the
highest costs in the world in the country by a factor of two. And part of the problem with that
is the way we buy care. The business model of care is badly flawed. We buy care from a fee
schedule and the fee schedule was built basically by underwriters and it’s very limited. And
if caregivers try to provide care off the fee schedule it’s denied as a claim and Medicare
actually sometimes makes it a crime to do care not on the fee schedule. They call it billing
fraud. If we redesign care appropriately, we should be able to cut the cost of care and
improve all care outcomes. But we need an industrial revolution and that has to start with
changing the payment model.”
George Halvorson No.
12 on Modern
Healthcare’s 100 Most
Powerful People in
Halvorson moved up
from No. 78 on the list in
2008. The annual 100
Most Powerful People in
recognizes the men and
among the most
the industry, as chosen
by readers of Modern
|San Diego Education Report
Kaiser Permanente’s CEO: Don’t let health care bankrupt America
By George C. Halvorson
January 25, 2013
George C. Halvorson is chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit
health plan and hospital system, headquartered in Oakland, California.
To save health care costs, the US needs to focus on preventative care. AP Photo / Will Kincaid
We can’t let health care costs destroy our economy. That would be a really stupid thing to do.
We are on that path today—but we do not need to let that happen. Health care costs are
destroying both state and federal budgets and health care costs are driving too many
American families into financial collapse and ruin because we are making bad choices.
We spend twice as much money on care as other industrialized nations. Other countries aren’t
spending less money than we are by rationing care. Most of those countries get better care,
faster care and more care than we do.
We have been collectively unwilling to look at and use the real opportunities we have to bring
down the costs of care—and make the quality of care and the outcomes of care in this country
We need to reengineer both the production and the distribution of health care. We need
patient-focused caregivers to deliver better care, safer care, more affordable, and more
dependable care to US patients.
Three-quarters of US health care costs come from patients with chronic conditions such as
heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Eighty percent of our costs are spent on patients with co-
morbidities—multiple health conditions.
The good news is this: The chronic diseases that create more than 75% of our health care
costs today actually can be prevented for most people. We know how to do it. The medical
science is very clear.
We need to make care better, more affordable, and we need to create a situation where fewer
people actually need care.
That can be done.
Things could improve a lot if we make the right set of choices and then have the courage to do
the things that need to be done to achieve the goals we need to achieve.
Kaiser Permanente is a member of the World Economic Forum Health Governors, a group of
hospitals, pharmacies and health plans focused on lowering health systems’ costs. George
Halvorson is in Davos this week. We welcome your comments at email@example.com.
Mr. Halvorson retires in early 2013.