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Balance Lacking in the COVID-19 Response (Managed Healthcare)

September 3, 2020
Posted in Media Coverage

By Peter Wehrwein and Briana Contreras | Sept 3, 2020

Brent James, M.D., M.Stat., doesn’t want to be misunderstood. COVID-19 is a big deal. But…

“How do I nuance this? Covid is a very important disease, it has had a major impact,” James said in video interview with Managed Healthcare Executive® this week. “But not to the extent that some of the news media and some of our political leaders have pumped it. This is well within our scale as it turns out.”

James, an international leader in quality improvement and patient safety who became well known for his work at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, said the initial reaction was understandable: “People are trying to make decisions in the face of poor data.”

And he noted that some health systems were hit hard by COVID-19, citing as example Northwell Health, the 23-hospital system in Long Island and New York City. James said he has been working with Michael Dowling, the Northwell president and CEO, and that Dowling did, indeed, have a “true crisis.”

But James, who is a clinical research professor at Stanford but still lives in Utah, says there is “night and day” difference between what happened at Northwell and where he lives. He said…

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