Health system partnerships key to growth in neurosurgery: Q&A with Mayfield Brain & Spine CEO Mark Vorherr

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Mark Vorherr became CEO of Cincinnati-based Mayfield Brain & Spine July 19. Since, he's launched several strategic initiatives, including a search for a chief strategy officer.

Mr. Vorherr spoke with Becker's about his plans for Mayfield Brain & Spine, his outlook for neurosurgery and the lessons he learned in the first months on the job.

Note: Responses were edited for style.

Question: What are your strategic goals for 2022, and how do you plan to execute them? 

Mark Vorherr: We have launched a search for a chief strategy officer to help us position Mayfield for the future. We already have embarked on a first step: systematically putting our ambitions into a formal operating plan. Every one of our 230-plus associates are participants in the planning, and we're engaging as many of them as possible in initiatives built around clinical quality, operating performance, research and patient experience. I want every Mayfield associate to know exactly how their work supports our strategic goals. Whatever they are doing, they should know why they are doing it. 

Q: How is Mayfield Brain & Spine leveraging data to strengthen the practice?

MV: Data become valuable when they are reflected in day-to-day performance. I believe that both qualitative and quantitative data are equally valuable in sustaining an elite independent medical group. By expanding our reporting and mining of proactive outcomes data, we are positioned to expand our leadership in high-quality patient care.

Q: What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth in neurosurgery?

MV: One significant avenue for growth is enhanced collaboration with our health system partners — redesigning delivery models to ensure that they can meet the growing and challenging demands of the market. We also have an opportunity to engage payers to design and support insurance products that cater to their members while maintaining a focus on quality and cost. Finally, we can more effectively demonstrate to our physician peers how patient-centered and quality-minded an independent physician practice can be. 

Q: What's the biggest lesson you've learned in your first months as CEO?

MV: Stars shine brightest when they have the opportunity to engage with their peers. Our industry, and our Mayfield organization, is filled with talent prepared to re-imagine high-quality patient care. Since I arrived at Mayfield last summer, I am more convinced than ever that we can navigate our challenges and opportunities and serve our patients well.

Q: What are your personal goals for the coming year?

MV: During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I started spending time working on my own health. Next year, I want to participate in activities that keep me mentally and physically healthy — and be a good friend to everyone. 

Q: What healthcare trends are you following most closely in the field of neurosurgery? 

MV: Our work never stops because innovation is critical to our business model — and our patients. We are concentrating on workforce development, surgical innovation, continued pandemic response, enhancing our contributions to value-based care, and the continued shift to outpatient surgical performance.


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