Month: November 2020

Value-Based Payment Models with Vanessa Guzman

Vanessa Guzman is the CEO of Smartrise Health, which specializes in all Value-based Payment and Accountable Care organization matters. She helps us make sense of the alphabet soup of acronyms like ACO, MIPS and why the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is CMS and not CMMS.

She defines value by CMS’ three aims: better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower cost. She attempts to shorten the chasm between what we see as useless clicking and how it actually helps our patients.

We discuss how this can help our bottom line and help our patients to thrive and how we can use the data we collect for CMS and commercial payers to help our own organizations. We also discuss the impact of COVID and where she sees these payment models going in the future.

With almost 15 years of experience, Vanessa has helped organizations gain over millions of dollars in value-based payment related revenue – through her unique integrated strategy that creates a collaborate space among health systems, payors, technology solutions and community-based organizations.

Vanessa graduated from Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science with a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Diagnostic Imaging. She is also certified in Quality Engineering and Quality Management and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality.

For her outstanding contributions, Vanessa has been awarded the 2018 Becker’s Hospital Review “Rising Stars Under 40” and 2017 Modern Healthcare’s “Up and Comers” Awards.

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A Career in Clinical Research with Fabian Sandoval, MD

Dr. Fabian Sandoval is the CEO & Research Director of the Emerson Clinical Research Institute and has over 25 years of bench to bedside research experience. His diversified research career has been in academia, healthcare systems and the public sector. He received his Bachelors of Science in molecular and cellular biology from Marymount University, and his Doctorate of Medicine from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, School of Medicine with clerkships through NY Medical College. 

We discuss the importance of clinical research, his unique path to a career of clinical research and the logistics of how his research institutes runs. We also discuss the ethics of enrolling people who are economically disadvantaged. We finish by discussing how and why private practice physicians can start participating in clinical research.

Before opening the doors to Emerson Clinical Research Institute (ECRI) Dr. Sandoval’s research activities have included bench research at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the NIHs’ Clinical Center, and Supervisory Research Integrity & Compliance Officer in the Army Human Research Protections Office.

Dr. Sandoval is also an Emmy Winner for the weekly medical TV show “Tu Salud Tu Familia” on Telemundo. He has since started the Emerson Community Clinic, in order to support un-insured patients across the DC metro area, as well as starting the Emerson Diversity Health Foundation, whose mission is to educate patients and providers in the importance of participating in clinical research and accesses to care.

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Democratizing Clinical Trials with Dana Dornsife of Lazarex Cancer Foundation

Dana Dornsife is a patient-advocate and the founder and CEO of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a nationwide non-profit organization that seeks to improve the outcome of cancer care – giving hope, dignity, and life to advanced stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by matching patients to clinical trials and providing travel reimbursements to patients for the costs associated with FDA clinical trial participation.


Dana founded Lazarex in 2006 after her brother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and she learned first hand of the many barriers patients encounter when trying to access potentially life saving treatment through clinical trials. A passionate patient advocate, she works to disrupt the system to advance much needed change. Under her leadership, the organization was involved in getting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to publish new guidance language that makes it clear patients can be reimbursed for travel expenses to clinical trial sites. Through Lazarex, Dana also advocates extensively at the state level for laws that reinforce the FDA guidance. She has succeeded in getting new laws passed in 5 states and legislation is pending or being considered in several other states.

In 2016, Dana expanded the mission of Lazarex with IMPACT (IMproving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials), a 3-year nationwide program that works to increase cancer clinical trial enrollment, retention, minority participation and equitable access in the hopes of getting cancer drugs to market faster and finishing oncology clinical trials on time and on budget. Most recently, Lazarex is also working to create collaboration around a public health initiative in Philadelphia, PA – Community IMPACT. This bold effort is aimed at creating a replicable model to improve cancer health outcomes and associated co-morbidities, and address cancer health disparities for the residents of medically underserved and socioeconomically challenged minority neighborhoods throughout major metropolitan cities and beyond.

Dana is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is a board member of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute at University of Southern California, serves as Chair of the UCSF Cancer Leadership Council and is a member of the MGH Presidents Council. She is Vice Chair of the governing board of the Yosemite Conservancy in addition to being a council member. Dana and her husband, David Dornsife, a USC Trustee, are also long-time supporters of environmentalism and sustainability and are the world’s top investors in clean water projects in Africa through World Vision, an international humanitarian agency supporting water, sanitation and hygiene in 24 African countries.

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It’s Not About the Food with Stefani Reinold, MD, MPD

Dr. Stefani Reinold is a board-certified psychiatrist, body image coach, women’s mental health expert, and eating disorders specialist. She is the author of the bestselling book, Let Your Heart Out, podcast host of the show, It’s Not About the Foodand Creator of the HEART Method: a self-led therapy tool helping with emotional self-awareness and resiliency.

She went to medical school at University of Texas at San Antonio and did her residency at George Washington University.

Speaking to patients about their weight can be challenging as this often emotionally charged and multifactorial. Issues with body image, emotional eating, confusing and contradictory information about what, when and how to eat, and as one patient told me, you don’t have to smoke to live, but you have to eat to live.

Her aim is to help people to have a healthier relationship with food and to untangle the complicated knot that surrounds food.

We discuss her current podcast and her online journey, which included previously advocating for a specific way of eating, which she now believes is part of the problem. She also discusses her own interactions with the healthcare system that she found triggering regarding her weight. She teaches us effective ways to start the conversation, if at all, about eating habits, and how she believes that BMI is not an accurate measure of one’s health.

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