January 9, 2017

Former Dartmouth-Hitchcock Executive Named Chief Clinical Officer for Sound Physicians

Healthcare thought leader to drive clinical outcomes and performance excellence across acute and post-acute care network

Tacoma, Wash. – January 9, 2017 – Sound Physicians, announced today that John Birkmeyer, MD, is joining the organization as Chief Clinical Officer. In this role, he will work closely with regional leadership and Sound’s hospital partners nationwide to ensure excellence in clinical quality, safety, patient experience and cost-effectiveness. With hospital medicine as a cornerstone, Dr. Birkmeyer will lead efforts to enhance clinical integration across service lines, including emergency medicine, critical care, and transitional care.

Dr. Birkmeyer comes to Sound from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, where he served as Executive Vice President of Integrated Delivery Systems and led clinical operations and academic affairs system-wide. He brings deep insight into value-based clinical care, leveraging his experience in academic, quality improvement, and operational leadership roles. He is a leading authority on value-based payment models and will help Sound Physicians’ partner hospitals succeed in the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

“Dr. Birkmeyer’s deep expertise in understanding variation in hospital and provider performance, scalable strategies for improvement, and value-based reimbursement make him an ideal addition to Sound Physicians,” said Rob Bessler, MD, Sound Physicians CEO. “Based on my experience, good analytics and a strong platform for identifying, implementing, and locking in best practices are essential to performance improvement,” said Birkmeyer.  “But physician leadership and engagement are also critical. It’s really exciting to apply lessons learned in leading performance improvement on a national scale, building off the great work already being done at Sound Physicians and its hospital partners.”

Dr. Birkmeyer is a graduate of Boston College and Harvard Medical School and completed his general surgery residency and medical informatics fellowship at Dartmouth. He later moved to the University of Michigan as Director of the Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy and founding Director of the Michigan Value Collaborative, a payer-funded improvement collaborative involving over 50 hospitals across Michigan. In 2011, he founded ArborMetrix, an analytics company focused on helping hospitals and providers succeed under new payment models. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Birkmeyer is a nationally recognized health services researcher.  Many of his 250+ peer-reviewed studies have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Health Affairs.  He was a member of the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Working Group and co-author on its watershed report, “The Quality of Medicare Care in the United States:  A Report on the Medicare Program.”


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