For The Record with Munzoor Shaikh, Director, Healthcare & Life Sciences, West Monroe Partners

June 2  

Munzoor Shaikh is a Director in West Monroe’s Healthcare practice and leads the Healthcare Transaction Services as well as the Provider/Population Health practice. He has completed nearly 200 due diligence transactions and several dozen post-close mergers/divestitures. For providers, he focuses on transformational opportunities from Digital Transformation to business and technology changes needed to actualize Value Based Care. Munzoor has more than 18 years of consulting experience in management and technology.

As a business transformation agent in healthcare, his specific project experiences are in buy/build analysis, vendor selection and implementation of population health management systems, customized gaps in care systems, market and technology due diligences for healthcare, claims platform consolidation and migration, strategic product roadmaps, advanced analytics solutions for healthcare and centralization of core healthcare IT services. His clients are providers, health plans, specialty providers, integrated health networks, accountable care organizations, and third party administrators.

Leveraging his distinctive blend of business and technology knowledge and experience, Munzoor develops industry-focused solutions that use market data, advanced analytics, business and technical architecture, and process modeling to drive organizational transformation and growth. He has led small teams (2-4 people) as well as large teams (60+ people) of business consultants and deep technologists to drive the strategic objectives of his clients. Munzoor earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.

What is your background in healthcare and how has that helped you tackle value-based care?

I’ve been a consultant for 20 years and my primary focus is with health systems. Health systems are still relatively new to value-based care (VBC) and have only taken on risk-based contracts that are early in the maturity curve, such as accountable care organization (ACO) upside/downside and quality payments rather than full risk as a percentage of premium. Having seen various types of systems in different geographies managing different population types — commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. — I’ve learned some of the common elements and business drivers of VBC: the ability to engage and influence the patients towards clinically optimal behavior, as well as having physicians collaborate in a way that is patient-centric. Also, I think having seen attempts by several systems result in failure has provided me a view on how “not to make a light bulb.”

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in healthcare during your career?

The electronification of medical information is the most notable development I’ve observed in my career, resulting in the shift of a physician’s time from diagnosis and treatment to data entry, coding, and compliance-oriented activity. We all want healthcare to change in meaningful ways (e.g., patient experience, data analytics, and population health), but our doctors now spend significant amounts of time staring at monitors rather than being with us as consumers. 

What are some lessons you’ve seen working with clients from all industries in healthcare?

What I’ve learned is that the true value chain in healthcare is quite complex, as value is generated in multiple currencies (monetary, clinical, social, personal, experiential, political, etc.), flows from multiple suppliers, and is consumed by multiple consumers. As such, focusing on the right contextual value for a given entity appears to be more than half the battle. The rest is about driving change in the organization. There, I’ve found that understanding and embodying the mission of the organization, especially for health systems, is an untapped and critical path. Health systems have a saying: “no margin, no mission”; I’ve often found the opposite to be true where the sense of mission has driven a margin-generating change.

What future trends in healthcare are the most exciting to you?

Consumerism, data analytics, and true population health where the quadruple aim is met.

Who is most responsible for helping VBC agreements become more common?

In my view, the consumer is. We live in a highly consumer-driven economy where consumer demand can generate new markets. For several reasons, we have failed to embrace this within healthcare, allowing the current system to become convoluted and value-add opportunities to be missed.  

What is the role of the consumer of health services, or patient, in value-based care? Or what should it be?

The role of the consumer is to demand. Each consumer has their own optimal mixture of utility that they are seeking in healthcare. For some, that mixture is dominated by financial feasibility; for others, the focus is clinical outcomes. And so on. The dimensions of utility are multiple. By clearly demanding what we value – financial, wellness, relief, health performance, personal, experiential – we can move away from the current unconscious and vague model that is left for payer, providers, and government to solve.

What is the difference between a consumer and a patient?

A consumer is active and a patient is reactive. A consumer actively goes after a utility that they want.  A patient reacts to pain or symptoms, passively waits to be treated, and is at the mercy of others.

What is one thing, other than time or money, you wish you would have more of?

Even more meaning in everything that I do.

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