I first started managing people when I was 28. I was completely unprepared and impatient – a volatile mix – until finally a well-intended colleague sat me down and said: “You are not listening, so rather than jumping to a conclusion, try to learn, try to understand.” I took that to heart and have spent the next 30+ years working on listening hard.
So roughly a year ago, when several speakers at the MPTF-produced Healthcare Summit spoke about the changing dynamics in delivering healthcare resulting from changes in technology, regulations, and the Affordable Care Act, I listened closely and thought I heard something valuable for MPTF: scale will matter in the future. Later on, in one-on-one conversations, I confirmed this both with the speakers and with my MPTF colleagues, who more or less heard the same thing. This led us as a group, along with our Board of Directors, to consider MPTF’s future role in delivering healthcare to our entertainment industry community and to ask the hard questions like: “Can we keep up with the many changes? Is healthcare delivery our core competency? Should we reconsider our role in this enterprise and identify others who might do a better job in the long run for our patients than us?”
MPTF has worked for 93 years in tandem with the entertainment community to “take care of our own,” and what we constantly have to keep in mind is how this is best done for our industry members. It’s not about MPTF continuing to do what we’ve always done “just because,” but about doing the best for the entertainment community despite changes it may cause MPTF to make. In many cases across a broad spectrum, we see today that other parties can enhance the way we “take care” of individuals. For example, we provide financial assistance to many frail industry seniors to live in small board-and-care facilities where they will thrive more vibrantly than on our campus. We also reach out to various other non-profits to provide support for industry members whose problems require a level of expertise or specialized experience that is beyond ours.
So what should we do about delivering healthcare today, 3 years from now, 10 years from now? How do we “future-proof” access to high quality, affordable healthcare for our industry members? After a lot of consideration, the management team recommended to our Board that we consider transitioning our practice to a larger, more experienced, better capitalized healthcare organization, one that shared our culture and strategy and would care for our entertainment community with the same passion and enthusiasm as we do. In stepped UCLA Health.
Dr. David Feinberg, UCLA Health’s CEO, completely gets that Los Angeles is a “company town” and that just like a healthcare system was created in Detroit to take care of the automotive industry, UCLA could enlarge MPTF’s footprint in connection with the entertainment industry. Our new partner has been ranked US News & World Report’s “Best in the West” and we feel truly fortunate that this magnificent healthcare system is now operating our health centers .
“We take care of our own” – 6 words, such a lovely thought, but in the end so very complex to always know how best to execute it. We feel very confident that our own will be taken care of magnificently. MPTF is here to guide in an advisory board capacity, but we have no concerns that UCLA Health will need anything but our continued support. We are also establishing a Patient Advocacy Committee with members from the primary care providers, UCLA Health and MPTF administration, and patients like you who want the opportunity to become more active in the healthcare program for the industry. Stay tuned for more information on this!