Conversations on COVID-19: Telehealth in the Era of COVID-19

COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity for telehealth to take hold in today’s healthcare system. Virtual visits with doctors and other health professionals are now fully covered by Medicare and private insurers are waiving patient copays. Physicians who never conducted virtual patient visits have become experts, leveraging the format to increase time with patients. Patients who previously would not consider a virtual visit have welcomed the opportunity to safely “see their doctor” while sheltering in place.

Join Schaeffer Center Senior Fellow Bob Kocher, who serves on Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 testing task force, Leslie Saxon, cardiologist, professor of medicine and clinical scholar at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, Hill Ferguson, CEO of Doctor on Demand, and Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts in a discussion about the outlook for telehealth. Discussants will consider the advantages of telehealth visits and monitoring devices, barriers to certain populations, and the likelihood that the pandemic will propel usage and acceptance of telehealth far into the future.

Following the moderated discussion, the panelists will take questions from the audience. Questions can be submitted at any time during the discussion through the Zoom platform.

The event has ended.

Event Date
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM Pacific

Bob Kocher, MD
Senior Fellow, USC Schaeffer Center
Member, California Public- Private Coronavirus Testing Task Force
Partner, Venrock

Bob Kocher, MD, is a partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the boards of Castlight and Hope Street Group and the advisory boards of the National Institute of Healthcare Management, Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department and ChildObesity180.

Kocher joined Venrock from McKinsey & Company, where he was a partner and led the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health Reform and worked with the various constituencies in the healthcare ecosystem to improve health policy, productivity, clinical outcomes and patient experience. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Engleberg Center for Health Reform and co-chair of the Health Data initiative, a joint effort of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Medicine, to release healthcare data to spur private sector innovation to improve healthcare cost and quality.

Prior to joining Venrock, Kocker served in the Obama administration as special assistant to the president for Healthcare and Economic Policy and a member of the National Economic Council. There, he was one of the leading shapers of the healthcare reform legislation focusing on cost, quality and delivery system reform. He was one of the leaders of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” childhood obesity initiative, led the formation of the Partnership for a Healthier America and served on the federal advisory panel charged with developing a national obesity strategy.

Kocher received undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington and a medical degree from George Washington University. He completed a research fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health, and went on to complete his internal medicine residency training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

Leslie Saxon, MD
Professor of Medicine and Clinical Scholar, Keck School of Medicine of USC
Executive Director, USC Center for Body Computing

Dr. Leslie Saxon is a professor of medicine and clinical scholar, at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Saxon is an interventional cardiologist that specializes in implantable and wearable devices that are wirelessly connected and treat and diagnose heart conditions and prevent sudden death. Saxon is a board-certified cardiologist and has additional board certification in electrophysiology and heart failure. She has completed over 200 publications in various medical journals and is an active member of a multitude of organizations, and is also a fellow the Heart Rhythm Society.

Saxon is also the executive director of the internationally acclaimed USC Center for Body Computing (CBC). The CBC is currently a place for all USC schools, including medicine, engineering, business and cinematic arts, to form interdisciplinary relationships and accelerate the future of fully integrated, “connected” medicine. Saxon participates in the pre-clinical and clinical development and testing of wearable and implanted technology, including networked devices used in medicine, wellness, and performance. She has active research with programs involving connected sensors with elite athletes, military groups and patients. Her work is dedicated to providing users with continuous and protected information about their health or performance status. With her clinical expertise, she is a valuable strategist in developing device models and software solutions that offer engaging user-feedback based on real-time physiologic data. Her cultivation of critical innovative partnerships to jointly commercialize products within the CBC is essential for furthering and improving the dissemination of medical information, enhancing communication and improving health outcomes. Saxon has spoken at various forums including TEDMED, SXSW, and WIRED Health and is regularly quoted in popular press (WSJ, NYT, BBC and Fast Company).

Hill Ferguson
CEO, Doctor on Demand

Hill Ferguson is the chief executive officer at Doctor On Demand. With nearly two decades of experience in mobile technology, Hill has led companies at all stages of growth, from being a founder to being a senior executive at PayPal, a high-growth public company. He holds deep commitment to putting customers first by delivering the best possible products, a value that resonates with Doctor On Demand’s commitment to its industry-leading clinical quality and best-in-class customer experience.

Before joining Doctor On Demand, Ferguson helped transform PayPal into a more customer-focused technology company, leading the global mobile team and eventually serving as the company’s Chief Product Officer. Prior to joining PayPal in 2011, Hill was Vice President of Product and Marketing at Zong – which pioneered new technologies that enabled consumers to make payments quickly and easily using a mobile phone number. Zong built a vast network of over 250 mobile operators in over 50 countries, while building a merchant network of leading digital goods and online gaming developers such as Sony, Sulake, Bigpoint and Facebook.

He has also worked as general manager at Yodlee, where he helped develop and market personal financial management software and consumer payment products used by leading financial institutions. As a senior product manager at Yahoo!, he helped create the award-winning Yahoo! Finance website, and developed a variety of payment services. He also co-founded LoanBack, a peer-to-peer loan management service that has helped consumers manage over $1.7 billion in loans from friends and family.

Hill holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Vanderbilt University and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Andrew Dreyfus
President/CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts

Andrew Dreyfus is president and chief executive officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), one of largest independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the country with more than $7 billion in revenue and nearly 3 million members. BCBSMA is rated among the nation’s best health plans for overall member satisfaction and quality. He assumed the role of CEO in September 2010.

Dreyfus joined BCBSMA in 2005 as executive vice president of the Health Care Services division, where he was responsible for health and wellness, performance measurement, and improvement and provider contracting. During his tenure, he managed the development and implementation for BCBSMA’s Alternative Quality Contract, one of the largest commercial payment reform initiatives in the nation.

Previously he served as founding president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, which works to expand access to healthcare for Massachusetts residents. While at the foundation, Dreyfus developed the “Roadmap to Coverage,” a multi-year policy initiative that led to the successful passage of the state’s landmark 2006 Health Reform Law.

Prior to his appointment at Blue Cross, Dreyfus was executive vice president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and held several positions of management within the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Dreyfus serves on the Board of Directors for Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where he is a member of the Audit Committee. He chairs the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management and sits on the boards of BCBSMA, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, Jobs for Massachusetts, RIZE Massachusetts and the New England Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is a member of the Massachusetts Digital Health Council and the advisory board of Ariadne Labs. Dreyfus is a founding member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care and a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness.

He graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in English.