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CHIBE Q&A with Jeffrey Kang, MD, MPH

By December 9, 2019 No Comments
Jeffrey Kang headshotJeffrey Kang, MD, MPH, is the Founding CEO of WellBe Senior Medical and a new member of CHIBE’s External Advisory Board.
What do you admire about CHIBE, and why did you want to join our external advisory board?

When “consumerism” in health care and individual behavior change was at its height, I was an admirer of CHIBE’s work and had the privilege of hearing Dr. Volpp speak several times. So many health care experts default to financial incentives (extrinsic motivators) as the solution to individual behavior change, whereas the historical literature and then all of CHIBE’s work point to the science of behavior change as much more complicated than simple financial incentives. The intrinsic motivators to change are frequently much more powerful. CHIBE’s work has brought much more clarity to what works and what does not work, and I hope as an advisory board member I am able to contribute in a small way to advancing the science.

What projects are you working on right now?

I am founding CEO of a new company – WellBe Senior Medical. We provide longitudinal geriatric care at home to frail, vulnerable, poly-chronic elderly patients. In order to improve patient outcomes, in addition to individual behavior change, it is just as important, if not more important, to re-engineer the financial incentives of the health care delivery system and the delivery of care.

WellBe’s financial model is global capitation; we are responsible and accountable for both the health outcomes and the total cost of care – hospital, specialists, procedures, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, etc. In this model it is in our interest to improve patient experience, improve outcomes, improve access to care, lower total cost of care, and deal with the social determinants of care by bringing longitudinal geriatric care to the patient’s home, or wherever they are.

What was your inspiration for creating WellBe?

My mother died 10 years ago of esophageal cancer at the age of 86. She was a kind woman and loved life. She was strong and made it through many of life’s ups and downs. She lived through three previous cancer diagnoses, and this last one finally caught up with her.

Through her last six months, I would see her at home and in the hospital. She had her own oncologist and her own primary care doctor, but as a doctor myself, I spent a lot of time taking care of her and ensuring that she understood the endless tests, drugs and treatment options that filled her days. As so many caregivers do, I guided her through the many difficult decisions she had to make and was fortunate to have deep knowledge of her condition and options. I was both her son and her trusted, personal physician, her Dr. Marcus Welby.

As I spoke with other clinician friends about caring for their families, I heard over and over how fortunate they felt to be able to provide their loved ones with the care they believed was so important to better health. It showed me how important it is to have someone you trust visit you in your home or anywhere you are, whenever you need it.

It inspired me to create WellBe, and it’s what we are all about – because we believe every person, every patient, should have a Dr. Marcus WellBe in the family – a doctor, a friend they trust to take care of them where and when they need it.

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