Kaiser Health News: California Health Chief Looks Within For Solution To Rising Health Costs


February 14, 2013

A hundred managers at Scripps Health jam shoulder-to-shoulder into a vending-machine break room in San Diego. CEO Chris Van Gorder goes at them like a football coach down by 3 at halftime.
“What are we trying to do in our health care system?”
“Reduce costs!”
“Health care is too expensive.”
“The solution is going to come from Washington D.C., right?”
“Ha ha ha ha.”
“Sacramento then, right?”
“The solution,” says Van Gorder, pumping an index figure toward his team, “is going to come from right here.”
Van Gorder, an ex-cop turned hospital executive, rescued troubled Scripps from near insolvency a dozen years ago as its new CEO. Now, he’s put Scripps in the middle of a cultural transformation aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dollars a year by — get this — coaxing physicians and managers at Scripps to work together, and standardizing care across every hospital in the system.