Flipping the Pediatric Care Model
Episode 365

Etan Walls, Chief Executive Officer of Adjuvant.Health and Chief Operating Officer for Allied Physicians Group

Flipping the Pediatric Care Model

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Flipping the Pediatric Care Model

Episode 365

Recommended Book:

Harvard Business Review Emotional Intelligence Collection

Best Way to Contact Etan:

ewalls@adjuvant.health

Mentioned Links:

Adjuvant.Health

Allied Physicians Group

Flipping the Pediatric Care Model with Etan Walls, Chief Executive Officer of Adjuvant.Health and Chief Operating Officer for Allied Physicians Group | Convert audio-to-text with Sonix

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the privilege of hosting Etan Walls. He’s the Chief Executive Officer of Adjuvant.Health and Chief Operating Officer for Allied Physician Group, a premier Primary Care independent physician group with over 30 locations throughout the New York metropolitan area as well as board member of the Allied Foundation. In his professional role, Etan is responsible for the international coordination and implementation of the allied strategic organizational vision by guiding and leading the internal teams with over 20 years of technology and project management solution experience, over 15 within healthcare, Etan has extensive knowledge of health care policies procedures and workflows as it relates to ambulatory care. As past president of the Centricity Healthcare User group, he’s been able to expand his reach to a larger audience through speaking engagements and executive level discussion. I’m really excited to have him on here. He also is has been a mentor and advisor to early stage health care I.T. startups. I’m excited to hear his thoughts on the area of focus that we all care about. Etan, welcome to the podcast.

Etan Walls:
Thank you. Glad to be here.

Saul Marquez:
And so did I leave anything in that intro that you want the listeners to know?

Etan Walls:
I’m a husband and a father of three. How about that? We’re little red head.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome.

Etan Walls:
And my wife.

Saul Marquez:
Congratulations on that. So we had the privilege of being at the TEDMED meeting together. Got some really great out of the box insights there. What is it that got you in health care to begin with?

Etan Walls:
You know it kind of happened by accident. I was unemployed during the downturn and I had a friend who had a EMR company who needed help with security audit work. And that turned into a four and a half year gig with EMR startup that led to the job that I’m in. But I think I was destined for health care my whole life. My mother is a nurse and I’ve always believed strongly as a core value in helping people.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. It was inevitable you landed where you needed to be. So now you’re here. What would you say Etan is is a hot topic that needs to be on health leaders agenda and how are you and your organization tackling it?

Etan Walls:
Sure, with an ally we’re always having to look around the corner because our organization is mostly is geared towards pediatric. We are facing the first tranche of parents – Millennial parents who are coming home to a health care environment that they abandoned years ago but they’re forced to be engaged soon because of their children. I think that’s the first thing. The second thing that I think that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue is this move to quality in the low to value-based care. Within ally because we’re pediatrics we look at the issue a little bit differently. Pediatrics is an investment in the future of medicine an investment in the future because of kids. The challenge is to be able to level the playing field so that we are being judged not in a way that about reduction of costs but it’s about high quality of care and that becomes a challenge.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah definitely I mean taking a look at that all the efforts that have gone into making quality better. It always seems like it’s just very difficult to take the cost out but you know when you’re working with a population of Pediatrics, quality is key. Give us some examples of how you guys are improving outcome and results with your work.

Etan Walls:
We try to keep it really simple and it all starts with the well visits. The well visits where we learn about the development of a child and young adult and how they’re doing in school. We can have the conversation about drugs and about alcohol about smoking which shockingly has come back with a gusto with withdrawal and other vaping devices. We can provide the best possible access to referrals to any physician that they need. We give vaccines and vaccines are important. I just saw something yesterday that vaccines produce adult and healthy adults and we believe strongly in vaccinating our kids. So it all starts with the well visit. When we made a concerned effort to go out and remind our parents who are the consumer and the child is our patient we started out with calls to remind them of all well visit. We’ve moved our numbers up from the 60 percentile to the high 80s even in adolescence because we were just reminding them it was time to schedule a visit. Now we’ve got a little bit smarter and we’re starting to look at disease states chronic disease like asthma that we’re trying to bring people back to be able to get the follow up care that they need.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah. Those well visits are definitely critical. What’s been one of the reasons you believe you’ve been able to improve like 20 percent?

Etan Walls:
I think it all really goes boils down to this. We don’t forget what the business is. The business always boils down to the relationship between the physician and the patient. And we are an organization that in our core philosophy and our core values respect to the relationship and the clinical relationship which are between our physicians and our patients. The physicians leave the organization I advise and they decide and that brings a lot of value to that relationship. We work on diets between the administrative of staff and executives and physician leaders so that we’re bringing all the tools all the information as analytically driven organizations so that people can make the right decision for their business. And it is a business at the end of the day. Unfortunately we still have to pay for things with money.

Saul Marquez:
Exactly. Now I love that very physician leader driven lead system really great results. I think in the environment that we’re in today a ton I think a lot of what’s happening has led to really more administrative executive level decisions. So I think it’s refreshing to hear about your approach and the fact that you’re a physician-driven organization. For the folks listening, these guys are based out of New York. You go across a New York area. Allied physicians you’ll find them anywhere most likely they’re taking care of your kids already. So take a look at what this awesome group is is doing. We’ll leave some links.

Etan Walls:
We’re also national too. And we’ve got engagement and national we’ve got a full house in California, Illinois, upstate New York. We’re working one in Texas and one in Ohio and one in Washington state.

Saul Marquez:
Wow. Ok. Awesome.

Etan Walls:
Absolutely.

Saul Marquez:
Thanks for clarifying that. Wow. So there you have it, folks. Definitely check it out. Well we’ll leave a link to their organization fascinating work that’s being conducted there. So you guys have obviously figured out a way to get outcomes to improve. Give us a time when you had a setback and what you learned from that setback to make you better.

Etan Walls:
I will give you one fun example and one serious example, how about that?

Saul Marquez:
That’s perfect.

Etan Walls:
I think my fun example is a couple of years ago thought it would be a great idea for us to get a standard scrub top or uniform with every office for every person in the office to wear what I forgot is the lesson I learned very young is you never tell a woman what to wear first of all and second of all, never never try to pick out clothing for women. I had our wonderful office managers very angry at me for trying to pick out some clothing for them at the end of the day, they were right. The design that we had wasn’t fine in pediatrics we need to be fund and happy. So that was the one that I totally failed on. I really was wrong into that one and totally..

Saul Marquez:
That’s a funny one.

Etan Walls:
I think the serious one for me is one that I more recently talked about is that the things that got me to the position that I’m in now aren’t necessarily the ones that are we’re going to keep me in the position long term. And as a leader, I didn’t know the skills to be an effective and efficient leader in the organization so I really needed, I feel that empathy and I feel that understanding how to lead effectively and efficiently within a large organization is a younger leader and a low go somebody lower down on the totem pole. I can absolutely understand why I need to push through some things but as the leader of the organization I believe through empathy and respect and and having a coach and understanding how to better be empathetic to the people around me and listen. Which was an important skill is something that I failed on them and I was very proud of the work that I’ve done to be able to do better.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. Hey Etan, it’s definitely difficult to realize where those key areas to do better on. Sounds like you really quickly identified that found a way to power up quickly by getting a coach in and now you’re making some strides there so kudos to you for being so candid about that.

Etan Walls:
Thank you.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah and it’s not easy. I definitely give you a lot of credit there. What would you say the other side of the coin is? What would you say one of the proudest leadership experiences you’ve had to date?

Etan Walls:
It ranges for my perspective every day that we move forward is a proud moment that day that we went live with achievement was very proud for me it was the culmination of four years of hard work to get us to that point but I think that the key to what we’ve been able to do is keep on moving forward celebrating the little successes and keep on moving forward. And I’m hopeful that I’ll have some really proud moments moving forward.

Saul Marquez:
That’s excellent. And congratulations on the launching of Adjuvant. I mean it’s operating separate but part of Allied Health from what I understand?

Etan Walls:
Yeah. We are a management service certain rotation with a one primary client right now. We’re hoping to change that continuum over the course of the year and in years to come. I’m really excited about our possibilities in the space. We’re driving the MSO through analytics and through the analysis of the end all of it. I am pretty proud of the things that we’ve been able to accomplish so far and we are positioning ourselves to be a great player in the space of the long term.

Saul Marquez:
Well Etan you know I’m a firm believer in that you got to know what you’re great at and then you have to reach out for help for the rest and the work you guys are doing at Adjuvant is focused primarily around the managed services the operations of the business right and for folks that are highly focused on just taking care of patients. I mean it’s what a great opportunity that to partner with somebody that has done it successfully on a national scale and why reinvent the wheel.

Etan Walls:
I couldn’t said it better idea of.

Saul Marquez:
You’re funny. But you know I think it’s brilliant and I definitely wish you guys luck and anybody listening that that is needing help on the services. Definitely check them out. Tell us about an exciting project obviously Adjuvant is that exciting project, maybe something within that that you’re working on today.

Etan Walls:
So you know I think the one of the things that we’ve been able to do is look take a step back and look at pediatrics as a whole on the delivery model with MP. And we’ve been successful we’ve been profitable but we’ve been we could do better. And so we’ve been planning a launch of a de novo brand that will start in New York where we’re building sites from the ground up to become Cathedrals of Pediatric Medicine really focused on the engagement between the physician and the patient and the child as the patient and the parent as the consumer offices that without phone from the front because you’re not calling to make your appointment at the office. You just can make it anywhere. So we’re going to have that ability online, we’re going to be able to have access to be able to make it at any time. And we’re going to hear the colors and the experience towards highly technical, highly customer service driven and we’re really excited about our next step as organization.

Saul Marquez:
You know that’s really interesting that you guys have decided to do this. I’ve had a number of guests on the podcasts talk about how the user interface to health care is broken and how we need to improve that. And it sounds like you guys are doing just that. You know you’re reengineering the experience and that takes courage and that takes knowledge and and so have you guys gotten any of these off the ground yet or is still working on the first one?

Etan Walls:
We’re working on the first one we should be launching some point here.

Saul Marquez:
Amazing. Well we’ll definitely have to stay in touch. A Tana I love. To hear how that rollout goes and how patients are experiencing it and the consumers as you as you very very insightfully distinguished the parents and the children so we’ll definitely have to stay in touch to hear how that goes.

Etan Walls:
I hope it goes well.

Saul Marquez:
I think it will. So getting close to the end of the interview here Ethan, this part is a lightning round so you and I are going to put together a brief syllabus. I’ll ask you some questions you’ll give me some quick answers. And at the end of the couple questions that I have for you, you’ll recommend a book to the listeners. You ready?

Etan Walls:
I’m ready.

Saul Marquez:
All right. What’s the best way to improve health care outcomes?

Etan Walls:
Talk to your patients.

Saul Marquez:
What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Etan Walls:
Don’t accept that the data that you’re getting from appears is always right.

Saul Marquez:
Love that. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Etan Walls:
Change to..

Saul Marquez:
And you guys are definitely doing that. What is one area of focus that drives everything in your organization?

Etan Walls:
Analytics and numbers.

All of those things matter folks in the improvement of outcomes you gotta measure, if you don’t measure you don’t change. So these last two are a little more fun. What is your number one health habit and what is your number one success habit?

Etan Walls:
My number one health habit is I’ve stopped drinking soda and drinking anything except for water or seltzer.

Saul Marquez:
Nice congrats.

Etan Walls:
Thank you.

Saul Marquez:
And number one success habit?

Etan Walls:
Listening.

Saul Marquez:
It’s powerful.

Etan Walls:
I’ve been most successful when I listen to other.

Saul Marquez:
Love it some great shares there Etan. What book would you recommend to the listeners?

Etan Walls:
The Harvard Business Review on Emotional Intelligence. You pick it up online or at any of the airport Hudson News. I love reading through it. It’s different articles on emotional intelligence. It was very helpful in my growth as a leader.

Saul Marquez:
Great recommendation Etan. Folks, you can get the entire transcript of our conversation as well as links to Allied Physicians as well as Adjuvant.health go to outcomesrocket.health and in the search bar type in Etan Walls. That’s E T A N W A L L S and you’ll find a detailed description of our interview today with links and everything you need to follow up on anything that maybe struck a chord with you today. Eton, this has been fun. I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could get in touch with you if they want to continue the conversation.

Etan Walls:
You know I wanted to thank you for welcoming me into and allowing me to talk a little bit Adjuvant.health and Allied Physicians group we’re really focused on changing the continuum of Pediatrics locally, regionally and nationally. We’re at the beginning of it with Adjuvant. We’ve been doing this for 13 years with Allied and we can help anyone who wants or needs our help with him. The peep space is our lane. And if you’re outside that lane we can help you find the right people to assess your needs. If you want to reach out to me directly my email address is ewalls@adjuvant.health and I really thank Outcomes Rocket for bringing me on today.

Saul Marquez:
Hey Etan, it’s been a pleasure. Appreciate you sharing your your ins and outs and definitely looking forward to staying in touch. Thanks again.

Etan Walls:
Thank you.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

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