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Meet Dr. Drew Palin, Chief Development Officer Of Blue Cross Of Northeastern PennsylvaniaMeet Dr. Drew Palin, Chief Development Officer Of Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Before joining Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania last year as chief development officer, Dr. Drew Palin led a number of medical IT startups, most recently as CEO of PointOne, which provides genomic information systems to physicians. Palin's latest tech endeavor at Blue Cross provides members with mobile access to their personal health records via cell phones.

2 Min Read

Photograph by James Leynse
Dr. Drew Palin
Chief Development Officer Of Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Interview by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Dr. Drew Palin, Chief Development Office of Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania


Asked why he shifted from a career as a family-practice physician to become a health care technology and business leader, Palin says: "I like solving problems. I can help more patients now doing this than I could with my own practice."


"World-class technologies in health care, like imaging software and hardware, give you 64 slices of a heart," says Palin. Still, "Doctors need incentive to change the way they work." Financial incentives that reward doctors for quality of care make a big difference, as world-class technologies that reduce medical errors don’t come cheap.


Palin’s doctor friends complain he’s gone to the "dark side" by working for an insurer. But Palin sees it differently--he’s trying to show the efficiency and quality-of-care benefits of transforming the delivery of health care via IT. "I understand the challenges of a busy practice."


"I’m more of a wannabe geek," he says. "I wouldn’t know how to code a software program, but I understand databases, how systems work, and what’s possible in health care."


Eventually, doctors will have bedside clinical tools to decide the treatment for everything from cancer to pain management based on a patient’s DNA and other individualized factors, Palin says. "The capability will be there over the next five to 10 years," he adds. "Unfortunately, it will probably take another five to 10 years for those systems to be applied" as the norm in health care.

About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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