Al Lewis is founder and President of the Disease Management Purchasing Consortium International, Inc. (DMPC–www.Dismgmt.com), which performs contracting and outcomes measurement consulting for health plans and self-insured employers seeking vendors and programs to enhance their benefits offering, distinguishing those from ones whose value is questionable at best. Though he is independent, he has served as a consultant to The Validation Institute.
He also confers the only recognized certifications in two areas. The Consortium website, www.dismgmt.com, lists the 200 people who have earned Critical Outcomes Report Analysis (CORA) Certification. The CORA curriculum covers the development and interpretation of risk contracts and outcomes reports. Likewise, 25 employers, health plans and states have received Savings Measurement Validity certification. He also provides and guarantees Letters of Validation for programs that achieve savings when validly measured.
His Gold Standard designation has been sought by many population health organizations (covering wellness, monitoring, other devices and coordinated care) and is considered the highest measurement validity accolade that an organization can achieve.
His critically acclaimed category-bestselling book on outcomes measurement, Why Nobody Believes the Numbers, chronicling and exposing the innumeracy of the health management field, was named 2012 healthcare book of the year in Forbes. His co-authored book, Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care, released in 2013, was also a trade bestseller.
Al’s co-authored “Is It Time to Re-Examine Workplace Wellness ‘Get Well Quick’ Schemes?” became January 2013’s most tweeted Health Affairs article, a lay version of which was featured in the Harvard Business Review and an updated and expanded version in the Wall Street Journal. He has also published op-eds or essays in the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle and Newsweek. A full list of publications is at http://www.dismgmt.com/in-the-news. He is a sought-after speaker on disease management and wellness economics.
He is also the “whistleblower” whose forensic analysis has led to the proposed dismantling of North Carolina’s expensive and ineffective Medicaid patient-centered medical home program.
His radio program, The Big Fix, exploring novel economic policy ideas, was carried on the NPR-affiliate in Washington, DC and may be renewed for 2015.
Prior to DMPC, Al was CEO and Chairman of Peer Review Analysis, Inc., at one point the youngest person to hold those positions for a NASDAQ-listed company, and had previously been a partner at Bain & Co.
Al holds undergraduate (1978) and law (1982) degrees from Harvard University phi beta kappa and taught economics at Harvard, and is currently a Visiting Scholar in health policy at Brandeis University.
But he still can’t get his kids to clean up their rooms.
Co-Founder and Vice President
Vik has a first to his credit, too, although it’s tougher to Google. He was the very first official Consumer Health Advocate in the US, a post in the Maryland Attorney’s General Office that the state’s legislature created in 1986. Since then, lots of people have claimed to advocate for healthcare consumers, but none of them can say they did first, and none of them did it working as one of the few the only non-lawyer professionals in a state enforcement agency chock full of them. Talk about aliens.
Vik’s experience with the attorney general started a career-long love affair with companies that can’t tell the truth. Whether it was marketers claiming that whole milk was a low-fat food (ignoring that milk is mostly water, which has no calories), durable medical equipment dealers selling “free” unneeded wheelchairs to seniors (as if fraudulently billing Medicare was no-harm, no-foul), or making managed care plans cover and pay for things written right in their contracts as covered and paid for, it was a good training ground for Vik’s more recent into wellness world, which is a lot like Wayne’s World, just not funny. The really unfunny part is that he once hoped wellness would deliver health value that managed care never has. Instead, Vik feels like he’s living the healthcare system’s version of Groundhog Day, because wellness is just a rehash of the failed promises and dreary lexicon of managed care.
Vik is the only healthcare pro who’s worked for, with, and against every major player in the healthcare system: politicians, drug company execs, medical directors, and wellness and healthcare power players. He knows exactly how little of the healthcare system is actually about people who need help. In fact, Vik has been so deeply immersed in this policy maelstrom for so long that while he isn’t a medical director, pharmaceutical exec, wellness vendor, or healthcare lawyer, he could easily play all those roles on TV…in the same show, even.
Vik is a prolific and terrific writer. He has over 75 articles, guides and letters to the editor to his credit, and he has been published in The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Ethics, and Neurosurgery. More recently, with Al Lewis, Vik has written for Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BNA, and The Health Care Blog, where is the Editor-At-Large for Wellness. He also runs his own blog, The Khanna On Health Blog.
Before this book, Vik wrote Ten Commandments of Faith and Fitness (280 pages, 2008, CSS Publishing), and Managed Care Made Easy (240 pages, 1997, People’s Medical Society). Although Managed Care Made Easy is out of print, that doesn’t change the fact that in 1998 it was called the “best” consumer-related managed care guide by The Washington Post. Ten Commandments of Faith and Fitness was such an inspiring work that former President Bill Clinton sent Vik a note complimenting his “ingenuity” in combining spirituality and fitness. Vik’s new e-book, Your Personal Affordable Care Act: How To Avoid Obamacare carries on Vik’s tradition of helping people create sustainable, enjoyable health strategies that will withstand the test of time and allow you to thumb your nose at every hospital you drive by.