What They’re Watching: Winnie Suen, Queen’s Health Systems

Winnie Suen is the Chief Medical Officer, QCIPN, at the Queen’s Health Systems. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

“One of the areas [I’m watching] is a Medicare Shared Savings Program, that as a network we’re going to be applying for. So, that is something that we’re just starting to get into. We’re planning on starting in July, and so part of that work is recruiting and explaining to people what we’re doing.

Many of the physicians are overwhelmed with so many things that they’re working on already, so how do I get one part of their attention to even pay attention to this part? So, it’s difficult but I think the way we’re going to really go out doing it is one-on-one. You know, we can go and talk with some of the physician organizations that are out there that have membership meetings, or talk to their board and then maybe have them be ambassadors of this program.

The other way is really just to go to physicians directly and try to squeeze in a little bit of their time and explain how this could be beneficial to them. I think most of the time right now, because insurances are changing so much and coming up with different ideas and programs that they could try out, they’re a little leery right now. Like, what does this mean for me right now and does participating in this mean I can’t participate in this other program? And how do the programs work together?

And I think that’s a valid concern because sometimes we create programs in silos and may not figure out that there are interactions that we need to consider. Same goes for some of the programs that we’re working on now including behavioral health… mental health, behavioral health is huge. Everyone’s paying attention to it, or trying to pay attention to it, and so maybe each person’s building up different parts and when it comes down to it, when do we use this program versus this program? So a lot of providers, physicians may be a little confused about “which one do I utilize?” And so I think from the network standpoint at Queen’s, we want to make it as easy as possible. Understand and streamline some of the workflows and some of the community partnerships together so that we can make it easier for the physicians to access the programs.”