We asked Dr. Jake, Chief Medical Officer of Broadspire, to tell us a bit about his life and career. Here’s what he had to say:
I was born in Israel in the year after its birth as a nation, but shortly afterwards moved to Montreal, Canada, where I eventually did both undergraduate and medical school at McGill University. After a residency in family medicine I started an office practice with a little bit of emergency medicine, geriatrics and teaching for variety.
A former colleague enticed me to relocate to Florida, (with a little help from the weather factor), to join a new-fangled organization called an HMO that was just getting off the ground. I started working in a clinic full-time and eventually took on more responsibilities, eventually becoming its medical director. And then I stumbled into other senior positions in the health industry, where my patient care activity dwindled to zero, and I became a full-time medical administrator, ultimately joining Kemper/Broadspire in 1999.
Having spent my previous management years in the group health sector, it has been a revelation to discover the unique nature of the workers compensation and disability world. The diversity of regulations and stakeholders is endlessly challenging. The “creativity” of my fellow physicians never ceases to amaze me. There is a vast array of complex issues to tackle and it’s never boring.
Just the other day, we received a claim in which a treating physician requested approval of surgical treatment for an anal fissure and rectal polyps. The rationale for coverage was that the claimant had developed these conditions because, after successfully completing a certain task, his supervisor gave him an appreciative pat on the back. You can’t make this stuff up!
I took up playing drums at the advanced age of 30, and mediocre as I may be, it’s still fun to play in a bass, keyboard and drum trio as I do once or twice a month. I suffer from an audio/videophile disorder and spend too much time and money indulging it!
I enjoy travel, although I can’t seem to do it often enough. And finally there is grandparenthood, a whole new adventure of the last couple of years. Would you like to see some photos?
In my typical day, I usually have several scheduled appointments per day:
- Interviewing new physicians for our peer review panel
- Discussing and handling unusual bills with our bill review nurses
- Meetings with medical department staff
- Planning meetings with colleagues concerning new products and programs
- Developing and enhancing our clinical policies and guidelines
- Meeting with current clients or prospects
- Strategic planning and financial reviews
- Meeting with our vendor partners on clinical initiatives, etc.
In between these meetings, I may be doing case and file reviews, research on key issues, analytics, preparation of publications or presentations at industry conferences, and eating.
The primary reason I made the transition from patient care to medical management was the opportunity to participate in creating significant positive impact at a health system level. Making the right diagnosis and treating a patient successfully is very satisfying. But promoting change that favorably impacts employers, patients, providers, and society at large is even more fulfilling.
My least favorite part of the job is the fact that change at this level is slow and incremental, and one needs to be persistent and patient in pursuing these objectives and seeing the results.