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Paul Levy – Medical Blogger and Chief Executive Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

By Admin | November 16, 2007

Paul Levy is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the world-renowned Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a part of the Harvard Medical System) in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also the author of the successful medical blog Runningahospital. He tells us about blogging and running a major medical center. 

Paul Levy

First things first, as CEO of a major medical center in Boston did you have an inside track on World Series tickets?

I have my own season tickets, which I pay for. The hospital also has corporate seats, which we raffle off to employees of the hospital (at) $5 per chance. Proceeds support scholarships for our nurses and others. Everybody gets a chance to have super seats in row 2 behind home plate. We raised $50,000 this year from the playoffs and the World Series.

Where are you from?

New York.

Where did you go to college and what was your major?

MIT, double major in Urban Studies and Planning and Economics.

What was your career path from college to CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess?

Deputy Director, Massachusetts Energy Policy Office; Commissioner and Chairman, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities; Director, Arkansas Department of Energy; telecommunications regulatory consultant; Chairman, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities; Executive Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; Adjunct professor, MIT; Executive Dean, Harvard Medical School, (and now) President and CEO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Why did you decide to start a medical blog? What are trying to achieve with it?

It was a lark. I thought it might be fun and interesting.

Do you require the physicians on staff at your hospital to disclose if they blog?

Of course not. First of all, it is none of my business. Second, I can’t require anything of our physicians. They are not employees.

What are your thoughts on medical bloggers who discuss their patients’ care, sometimes in intimate detail? Do you think that is an invasion of privacy and violates confidentiality, even though it is done “anonymously?”

Adherence to HIPAA is very important.  If you write in too much detail about a patient, even anonymously, you can inadvertently disclose things.  I ask patients (and) families for permission before I write about them, even though I fully anonymize those stories.

Were you in favor or did you support Mitt Romney’s plan to insure all residents of Massachusetts for healthcare?

It was not Romney’s plan.  It was a consensus among all the elected leadres and most of the business and advocacy groups in the state. Yes, I was in favor of it.

Of all the presidential candidates, whose healthcare plan do you support?

I do not wish to comment on any candidates or their plans.

What is the relationship between Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals?

Read my post on the “Harvard Medical System.”

What are the top clinical strengths of your hospital?

Cancer, cardiovascular services, solid organ transplant, whipple surgery, digestive diseases, neurology, minimally invasive surgery, pulmonary care, geriatrics, among others.

Where can your hospitals improve on or what new programs would you like to start?

Life is one constant improvement.

What are your biggest upcoming obstacles in running your hospital?

Inadequate reimbursement for cognitive services. Primary care, nephrology, neurology, and the like. Transit access to the Longwood Medical Area and resulting traffic congestion for our staff and patients.

Does your hospital run in the black or red overall? And, by how much?

Read my most recent post on “Where does all that money go, anyway.”

Have you read House of God, which was reportedly written about Beth Israel Hospital?

I started reading it but found it pretty adolescent and put it down after a few chapters.

Copyright 2007 DailyInterview.com

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