Lubarsky Named CEO of UHealth Physician Practice

David A. Lubarsky, M.D., MBA, the Emanuel M. Papper Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the UHealth Physician Practice and Associate Vice President for UHealth Practice Administration. The newly created role is a critical link in propelling UHealth to the next level and will fully support all facets of the growing business practice of UHealth physicians.

“I’m extremely excited about taking on this new role,” says Lubarsky, who points out that the size of the UHealth practice has doubled over the past five years. “We have a clear need for a stronger multidisciplinary focus and standardized business practices. While we already have some of the greatest and most dedicated physician experts in the world, we have not yet realized the benefit of our greatest competitive advantage, our ability to coordinate the care of every patient.

“We must work as a single group of 1,000 doctors, instead of 100 groups of 10. This is our potential strength as a health system,” Lubarsky adds. “We must create a structure that makes it easy for patients to get coordinated care with multiple UM physicians and facilities with ease. When, not if, we do this, we will ensure the clinical success of the institution as a whole. The practice for too long has been focused on the success of its various parts; I hope to move that mindset so we are all completely focused on the success of UHealth.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth, describes Lubarsky as “a natural fit” for this position. “Since his arrival 10 years ago, David has shown that he has a keen business sense along with a superior medical acumen,” Goldschmidt says. “He is able to identify strategic goals and best practices, and then harness the abilities of people working with him to achieve those goals. He is truly committed to the delivery of the safest, highest quality and patient-centric care.”

In his new role, Lubarsky will direct and oversee, in close collaboration with the department chairs, the chief medical officers, the executive deans, the Associate VP and Chief Operating Officer for the Hospital Division, and the Chief Operating and Strategy Officer for UHealth, all medical disciplines, governance, clinical activities, personnel, budgets, space and other resources of the UHealth Physician Practice. The goals are to establish rigorous expectations and accountability for individual physicians and maximize the clinical profitability of each department.

“The overarching focus is on the quality of care and economic success of the institution, and within that framework we will advance the individual clinical practices,” says Lubarsky, who will remain as the Emanuel M. Papper Professor. “My goal is to make each department chair more successful than ever before and allow them to advance UM’s academic mission by providing financial resources that come from optimizing our clinical business and the quality of care we deliver.”

These new responsibilities are a natural progression for Lubarsky. A Fuqua Scholar and valedictorian of his MBA class at Duke University, he is also a professor of management at the School of Business. Lubarsky plans to capitalize on the “incredible expertise UM already has in the Business School.” His research and scientific career were forged in operating room management science, analyzing economics, process, and throughput. Lubarsky has used his management skills over the past 10 years to optimize clinical care, teaching and research within his own department, now widely recognized as one of the top departments of anesthesia in the country. He has done that while constantly generating a seven-figure positive bottom line, despite inheriting a $2.5 million deficit on his arrival.

Lubarsky is a sought-after speaker on both negotiations and development of clinical incentive plans in anesthesia, and is looking forward to partnering with department chairs and center directors to develop more standardized faculty clinical incentives that align with the mission and needs of UHealth as a whole.

Since 2007 Lubarsky has also been the Senior Associate Dean for Safety, Quality and Risk Prevention. During this time he has led “a great team” that worked closely together to cut the cost of malpractice for the physician practice by 67 percent over three years. In that time an entirely new and effective risk management structure under Melissa Black, Chief Medical Risk Officer, and a patient safety and quality structure under Rafael Campo, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, were created.

The success in these areas was due to great cooperation and support from UM Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Aileen Ugalde and her team, and from Michele Chulick, Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Hospital Division of UHealth. It is a team approach that Lubarsky expects will create success in his new job as well, and he is looking forward to a daily partnership with Chulick in helping her realize UHealth’s facility goals.

Although he is relinquishing the Senior Associate Dean’s title, as CEO of the UHealth Physician Practice and AVP for UHealth Practice Administration, Lubarsky will still be responsible for optimizing the quality of care and patient safety within the practice. However, an expanded focus will now also include developing strategies to meet future health system needs in a changing health care era, and improving operational practices to increase both clinical productivity and reimbursement, and optimizing both internal and external referrals. He will be overseeing all clinical physicians’ schedules to maximize patient access and to optimize the use of clinical space.

“I’m hoping to create a culture of change,” Lubarsky says. He wants to instill a multidisciplinary-focused service line mentality in which disease processes and patient types, not just physicians’ departments, determine groupings and academic association. “We want UHealth patients to remain within the UHealth system,” Lubarsky says. “Regardless of the service(s) they need to deal with any health problem, we can and will provide those services more completely and with greater patient focus than any other entity in Florida.”

He also hopes to build an environment of transparency. “I want to spread best practices developed by one department among the others,” says Lubarsky, who plans to share data and use national benchmarks to set goals. “With an aggressive level of accountability and communication, we make each department more productive, and that makes the institution more productive.”

Lubarsky says “smart business is part of great medicine.” He stresses that providing a service and then collecting for that service enables UHealth and the Miller School to continue to reinvest in the future of medicine for all patients. “Sound financial performance means more funding for research and education, allows us to draw top-notch doctors to South Florida and to pay for state-of-the-art equipment that benefits our patients.”

Lubarsky will also serve as the primary physician representative in negotiating services with Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Miami VA, coordinating the value and delivery of services provided by UHealth physicians.

He will collaborate closely with William O’Neill, M.D., Executive Dean for Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of UHealth, in developing plans for programs, clinical centers and multidisciplinary ambulatory centers across South Florida.

“I’m looking forward to working with David at this level,” says O’Neill. “He brings an uncanny ability to identify and apply effective business practices in a clinical setting. This appointment will strengthen UHealth.”

While he will remain chair of anesthesiology, Lubarsky has turned over daily management of the department to Keith Candiotti, M.D., who is now Executive Vice Chair and Chief Operating Officer of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management. Lubarsky plans to continue some clinical duties of his own, hoping to be in the operating room one day each week. “I love my job and being involved, hands on, where it really matters. Being part of the clinical delivery of care will keep me connected to the everyday concerns of the clinical physicians.”

Dean Goldschmidt says naming Lubarsky to this position, with its strong focus on business, rounds out the top executive team. “We have the right people in the right positions to take UHealth to the next level in care. Adding David to my team will enable every department to improve its productivity and delivery of best care to the patient.”

Lubarsky’s new appointment takes effect immediately.

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