Health care leader Andrew Dreyfus is charting his next chapter

He goes on to demonstrate he doesn’t have any hobbies, not even gardening or actively playing a musical instrument. He owns neither a second home nor a boat. But there is just one thing he remains passionate about: Altering wellbeing treatment.

He will, for illustration, be training this spring at Harvard T.H. Chan University of General public Health and fitness. He’s already arrive up with the course’s doing work title: “Can Health Options Be Excellent? The probable and restrictions of overall health strategies as brokers of wellness system alter.”

He will be part of the board of the Joint Fee, an influential countrywide well being care accreditation corporation, and proceed to chair the board of the Blue Cross foundation. He will also go on to provide as an adviser to Vanna Health and fitness, a San Francisco startup that manages significant mental sickness Ariadne Labs, a centre for overall health innovation started by Atul Gawande and the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Health issues Treatment, an business looking for to strengthen conclude-of-everyday living care.

And when he mentions producing, Dreyfus implies it, too. He’s a recovering journalist who started off his job as the editor of The South Conclude News. As main executive, he appreciated to wordsmith corporate paperwork so considerably so that his personnel would will need to remind him that the “E” stands for executive, not editorial.

Dreyfus’s foray into wellness treatment commenced when he still left journalism in the 1980s to sign up for the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis in the Govt Office of Human Products and services. Afterward, he went to get the job done for the Massachusetts Hospital Affiliation, and when Blue Cross introduced a basis, then-main government Monthly bill Van Faasen recruited Dreyfus to become its inaugural president.

It was in the course of his time at the basis that Dreyfus began functioning on how Massachusetts could roll out common wellness treatment coverage. President Clinton and initially woman Hillary Clinton had produced an unsuccessful go at reform in the 1990s, which put the onus on states to direct the demand.

Andrew Dreyfus, the outgoing CEO of Blue Cross Blue Protect of Massachusetts, receives a hug from incoming CEO Sarah Iselin at his going-away social gathering at the JFK Library. Barry Chin/World Employees

Dreyfus — working intently with insurers, hospitals, lecturers, enterprise leaders, and politicians — assisted form Massachusetts’s landmark regulation in 2006 that needed most grownups to have well being coverage or spend a penalty. That law became the model for the Affordable Treatment Act that President Obama signed in 2010.

Not that very long ago, the ACA divided The united states. Not anymore.

“We just experienced a person of the most divisive elections in US record,” Dreyfus noticed, “and there was one particular problem that did not get stated in any of the news: the Economical Care Act.”

On fairness, Dreyfus doesn’t get into the idea that COVID-19 “unmasked” gaps in coverage. The fact, he reported, is that “they’ve been unmasked for many years . . . We just didn’t act in an structured way to really make a difference.” He’s most very pleased of “showing the wellness treatment program that when we operate together and collaborate, we can make main transform.”

There is, of training course, unfinished business enterprise. Wellbeing care even now needs to be additional inexpensive and much more equitable. Dreyfus anxieties about double-digit high quality improves and how that could possibly force the condition to as soon as again cap coverage costs, which Governor Deval Patrick did for quite a few decades starting off in 2010.

Again then, Patrick experienced warned insurance policies executives: Possibly rein in price ranges, or he would.

“Nothing happened so he place the caps on,” recalled Dreyfus. “Unless the health treatment local community will work collectively to average fees, we could be back there.”

Andrew Dreyfus, the outgoing CEO of Blue Cross Blue Protect of Massachusetts, watched a video clip montage at his heading-absent party at the JFK Library. Barry Chin/World Personnel

In a single of his past acts as main executive, Dreyfus unveiled in December a new design of reimbursement that would hold providers fiscally accountable for lowering overall health disparities. He’s hoping the software with four significant overall health groups will spur systemic modify.

I acquired to know Dreyfus via his dedication to diversity. He leaves with an outstanding history at Blue Cross: women of all ages and individuals of colour make up 69 % of its board, and ladies and people today of coloration account for 54 % of the senior administration staff.

On major of that, Dreyfus will be succeeded in January by Sarah Iselin, who will become the to start with female to direct the insurer. Dreyfus worked with Iselin at the Massachusetts Hospital Affiliation, and when he arrived to Blue Cross, he recruited her. She phone calls him a mentor.

He has championed diversity and inclusion, extensive right before it was trendy, since of his father Carl Dreyfus. The elder Dreyfus marketed house and casualty insurance policy and, in the 1940s and 1950s, was a person of the several white insurance plan agents to present procedures to Black business enterprise entrepreneurs. A young Andrew utilized to tag together with his father going to purchasers in Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester.

Carl Dreyfus grew to become president of the Boston Urban League in 1948 and served on its board into the 1960s.

“Thinking about range was aspect of my DNA,” mentioned Andrew Dreyfus.

At his heading-away celebration at the JFK Library in early December, Iselin, the incoming chief govt, summed up ideal what has driven Dreyfus all these decades.

“Andrew understands at an unheard of level that overall health care is about our shared humanity,” she mentioned, “and that it is fundamentally about social justice.”

Dreyfus’s upcoming chapter has nonetheless to be penned, but that is 1 theme that will hardly ever go absent.


Shirley Leung is a Business enterprise columnist. She can be attained at [email protected]

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