Anthony Tersigni

Ascension’s focus on innovation and efforts to guide the future of healthcare reform were two key topics covered by Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension, at a recent forum for about 100 St. Louis business leaders.

At the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s CEO2CEO event, Dr. Tersigni joined Blake Marggraff, who leads 2-year-old Epharmix, a company offering providers simplified remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions, to discuss how small businesses and more established, large organizations can work together.

Dr. Tersigni noted that innovation has always been in the forefront of Ascension, and startups play a major role in its vision of transforming healthcare in the United States.

“Ascension Ventures was created to generate venture-level investment returns to limited partners that help support their missions to provide care to the poor and vulnerable,” he said. “Our strategic healthcare venture funds focus on medical device, technology and service sectors, and our venture investing subsidiary has more than $800 million in investments under management and a dozen limited partners. We have been an early adopter of innovation investing, and have now raised four funds.”

With healthcare reform a hot topic, Dr. Tersigni shared Ascension’s commitment to continue to work toward guaranteeing 100 percent access, coverage and affordability in healthcare.

“What we need to do as a nation is really develop a healthcare policy. We don’t have a healthcare policy in this country, we have a healthcare finance policy that we’ve cobbled together over the last 70 years, methods for paying for things, but we really haven’t focused on ‘what’s the policy?’” he said.

“We want to help Congress and the administration take on the complex task of reforming healthcare in our country. Both parties agree that moving from a volume-based healthcare system to value-based care will make the system more efficient, effective and truly patient-centered.”

Dr. Tersigni also provided an overview of Ascension Solutions and how it works in concert with Ascension Healthcare.

“Ascension is a ‘new model’ healthcare system – in many aspects, a ‘health-system-plus,” he said. “Our organizational structure and diverse portfolio make us a unique and innovative business. Our ‘plus’ part is our unique Solutions Division, through which a number of Ascension subsidiaries provide value not only to our healthcare operations, but in many cases to additional customers.

The CEO2CEO event was the latest in a series of public conversations organized by Accelerate St. Louis and hosted by T-REX, a business incubator in downtown St. Louis.