“What Resonated with Me was the Mission” New Acclaim President and CMO Says

June 18th, 2018

Dr. Michael Hochberg, the new President and Chief Medical Officer of Acclaim Physician Group, gets lots of questions about why a guy who was born and raised in New York -- and who worked his entire career on the East Coast -- would suddenly decide to take a job in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Michael Hochberg

Dr. Michael Hochberg

While he loved working in his home town, Hochberg said his favorite parts of his career came in its earliest days when he started at a public, safety net hospital, Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. So, working with JPS, a public, safety net healthcare network for which Acclaim contracts to provide caregivers makes him feel more at home than standing on Broadway or taking in a game at Yankee Stadium.

“When I came to JPS and walked the halls the first time, what resonated with me was the mission,” Hochberg said. “It brought back the feeling I had at Jacobi – the focus on the altruistic nature of healthcare. There is a huge opportunity with Acclaim and JPS to become a leader in healthcare for the underserved. It’s inspiring.”

When Hochberg was growing up, he admired his mother for her 30 years of work at Jacobi Medical Center, a public hospital It was her work that inspired him to study healthcare, and the first stop on his career path was working at the hospital where his mom worked.

Hochberg said his role in previous organizations has been to find ways to connect patients more efficiently to the care they need. At St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., he helped to reduce the wait from the time a patient came through the door into the emergency room until he or she met with a doctor from 90 minutes down to 15. He expects to make the same at kind of impact at JPS.

Hochberg said he has already begun the process of formulating and laying out his strategic vision. He expects technology to play a large part in the process. Things like telemedicine and online appointments can eliminate unnecessary trips for patients to physically see their provider for things ranging from urgent care visits to post-surgical checkups, Hochberg said. He added technology also can help providers collect and analyze data that can drive best practices, control costs and improve quality.

“We need new infrastructure, for sure,” Hochberg said. “But technology can also be a conduit tying patient to provider.”

Other top priorities for Hochberg include engaging physicians and strengthening the bond between JPS and Acclaim. He said Acclaim isn’t a partner for JPS as much as is the mechanism for delivering the care JPS has to offer to patients.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, patients are universal,” Hochberg said. “They may have different needs based on their health status. But at the root of it, patients are universal. I’m very excited and thankful to be here and glad to be part of the team.”

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