Category: Physicians

Interview with Dock Health CEO Dr. Michael Docktor

published date
May 27th, 2021 by

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Dock Health CEO Dr. Michael Docktor

I met Michael Docktor a few years ago when I was consulting to Boston Children’s Hospital on digital health and he was a gastroenterologist and leader of an innovation team there. As a digital native, he was among many physicians in his generation who couldn’t understand –and wouldn’t put up with– the disconnect between the smooth, high quality experience he had on his iPhone and the comparative Dark Ages of hospital IT systems, even at the top rated pediatric hospital in the country.

He co-founded Dock Health to help doctors get away from PostIt notes and scratch pads and shift to a simple, HIPAA-compliant approach to managing daily administrative tasks.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, we talk about what it means to grow up with the name doctor, what he learned about physician needs at Boston Children’s, and his vision and progress to date at Dock Health.

He’s reading The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and looking forward to reading Backable by Suneel Gupta with Carlye Adler.

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By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Interview with Cantor Group CEO, Dr. Michael Cantor

published date
April 22nd, 2021 by

Mike Cantor
Dr. Mike Cantor, CEO extraordinaire

Dr. Mike Cantor grew up in a healthcare home. His dad was a solo practice family physician and his mom worked in the practice. He developed an interest in healthcare policy from an early age, as he heard his dad describe the challenges serving his patients and dealing with insurance companies. As a geriatrician and an attorney, Mike focused on care for the elderly.

I met Mike years when he was chief medical officer at NEQCA and have stayed in touch with him over the years. He’s an expert on the healthcare system, so I decided to tap into his thoughts about the last year of the pandemic.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Mike and I talk about the impact of digital technologies in bringing healthcare closer to patients, how payment systems are changing to support telehealth and home care, what’s new in nursing homes, and how disparities are baked into the system.

Check out the rough (AI generated) transcript.

The HealthBiz podcast is available on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsYouTube and  many more services. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts.


By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Optum buys Atrius Health. I’m quoted in the Boston Globe

published date
March 3rd, 2021 by

United Health’s Optum is purchasing Atrius Health, an independent physician organization in Massachusetts. Atrius has struggled to compete against the huge hospital systems in the state, even though its physician-led approach is more cost effective. Optum’s heft may level the playing field.

I’m quoted in the Boston Globe (Physicians group Atrius Health plans to join Optum, giving a national operation a bigger Mass. footprint)

David E. Williams, president of the consulting firm Health Business Group, said joining Optum would allow Atrius to more aggressively compete with Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners HealthCare) and Beth Israel Lahey.

“With Optum’s backing, Atrius should be able to level the playing field,” he said. “Optum’s ownership will make Atrius less responsive to local needs, but the tradeoff will be worth it if it means Atrius can compete effectively with Partners and BI Lahey.”

Ideally Atrius would stay independent but I don’t thin that’s independent. The company has been losing ground as BI Lahey and MGH Brigham continue their aggressive consolidation of the market. Going with Optum seems like the smartest option for Atrius and the best for the state.

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By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Aledade CMO Dr. Emily Maxson on Primary Care Participation in ACOs

published date
February 11th, 2021 by

Emily Maxson Aledade
Dr. Emily Maxson

As the daughter of an infertility specialist, Emily Maxson grew up with a strong understanding of medicine and an appreciation for the role of specialists. But she also learned about the challenge of access and the importance of primary care. As a primary care physician and Chief Medical Officer of Aledade, Emily helps independent primary care physicians participate in accountable care organizations, preserve their independence and financial viability, and boost quality and access for patients.

In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Emily and I discuss the role of primary care, how physicians have fared during the pandemic, the interaction of technology adoption and reimbursement, and Emily’s predictions –or hopes– for the future.

She recommends two books: Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims and Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

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Check out the rough (AI generated) transcript.

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By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

Optum looks to acquire Atrius Health. I’m quoted in the Boston Business Journal

published date
January 13th, 2021 by

Word on the street is that Optum wants to acquire Atrius Health, a non-profit 700-physician group. Optum, a subsidiary of the for-profit UnitedHealth Group, is the biggest employer of primary care physicians in the country, according to the Boston Business Journal (Atrius Health, state’s largest independent physician group, is in acquisition talks)

Here’s what I told the Journal:

“As a physician-led organization, Atrius can make a strong impact on healthcare quality and cost,” said David Williams, president of the Health Business Group, a Boston-based consulting firm. “But they need a strong balance sheet to play against (the state’s largest hospital groups) Mass General Brigham and BI Lahey. With backing from Optum, Atrius will be able to be a strong force in Eastern Massachusetts and have the ability to enter into meaningful, value-based contracts with private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid.”


By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.