In this episode, Darrell Moon, founder of Aspirational Healthcare, discusses the Nuka System of Care in Anchorage, Alaska, which has been called “the best healthcare system in the world.” The system is built around the needs and aspirations of the customers, focusing on building relationships and providing support to help individuals achieve their goals in life.

Moon encourages healthcare providers to consider offering direct primary care memberships and aligning with employers who are willing to fund this type of healthcare. He also advises business leaders to take control of their healthcare purchasing power and align with benefit consultants who work in their best interest. Nuka System of Care has achieved high levels of patient satisfaction, improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

Moon invites individuals to attend the Nuka System of Care June conference and a conference for business leaders in September to learn more about the system and how to implement an aspirational model of healthcare.

Tune in to the full episode to hear more about:

  • How hospital admissions can be reduced by focusing on preventive care and early intervention
  • How CEOs can influence healthcare systems, through their purchasing power and by practicing problem solving abilities they regliarly use to lead their businesses
  • How employers can align objectives with healthcare brokers, so that the benefits conslitant gets incentivized to be paid for meeting the employers’ objectives (reduced healthcare expenses through direct primary care that emphasizes prevention and customer-centric care)
  • Nuka System of Care provides healthcare at half the cost of other systems in the US, due to their focus on providing care that is aligned with the goals and needs of the customer, rather than focusing on profit
  • Growing demand for direct primary care (DPC) membership

Check out these upcoming conferences held by Nuka System of Care:


The Best Healthcare System in the World | Episode 337


James Maskell:

Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week, we feature Darell Moon. If you’ve ever wondered, what if you could build a healthcare system from scratch that served the needs of the customers, what would that look like? Well, today, we’re going to hear about it. We’re also going to be hearing about the movement for employers to pay for DPC clinics, direct care clinics. I know a number of you who listen to this already have a membership-based practice. This is going to be very, very exciting if you’re in that business. Darell is an innovator, an agitator, just like many of the people that we’ve had here on the Evolution of Medicine podcast. It was a really exceptional half an hour. Enjoy. All right. So, a warm welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, Darrell Moon. Welcome, Darrell.

Darrell Moon:

Good to be with you, James.

James Maskell:

I am really excited to connect with you because I feel like we are walking extremely parallel paths and see a similar vision for the future of medicine and excited to jump into some of the really interesting adventures that you’re going to be having later this year and so forth. But why don’t you take us back. Where is this passion for health transformation? Where did it come from and how has it manifested so far?

Darrell Moon:

So, I started off with the desire to run hospitals and had the opportunity to run 10 different hospitals all over the country. But I became very disillusioned with my own industry. I really loved the idea of healthcare because it was about health and helping people, but it became very obvious that this is a financial machine designed to make money. And I was at the top of the food chain. Here I was, my job was all about filling my hospital beds so the company would make lots of money. And everything that I was accountable to and for was to fill hospital beds.

And I’m thinking to myself, “That doesn’t seem very customer-centric.” Employers buy healthcare not to fill hospital beds. Employers buy healthcare to attract and retain talent and to create healthy, productive workforces. It’s like the customer buying healthcare doesn’t want the hospital to be full. In fact, they want just the opposite. I’m like, “How is it that this entire industry can get away with no one holding me accountable? This is nuts.” And I had a vision of a different kind of healthcare that was more health-related and had a lot more care in it than simply making dollars in bottom lines.

So many years ago, over 25 years ago, I left running hospitals with the goal and desire to get way upstream. Let’s not wait until somebody ends up in the hospital to give them a Taj Mahal ICU bed. Why don’t we spend our money upfront and actually help people from getting sick in the first place? A lot of the hospitals I ran were mental health or psychiatric hospitals. My goodness, why does someone have to be mentally ill or be diagnosed as mentally ill before they get help and support in reaching their dreams, goals, and aspirations in life? If you get sick and have a mental illness, then you get a therapist that can be there to empathetic listening and motivational interviewing and support you in being successful. That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t we all be benefited by having someone in our corner as a cheerleader supporting us and being the best we can be?

So, that’s what drove me into this long-term goal of trying to move healthcare from being hospitals at the bottom of the cliff to being a guest at people’s table, journeying with people and supporting them and experiencing life to the fullest. That to me means more about health and healthcare than just making money at the bottom of it all.

James Maskell:

Yeah, it’s amazing to have that experience and to come from that angle. I imagine when you got started on this 25 years ago, health coaching hasn’t happened. Right? There’s nothing like that, that the functional integrated medicine movement where doctors are focused on creating health and creating self-efficacy is extremely nascent. So what does it look like when you start, and what’s some of the first moves that you make?

Darrell Moon:

Well, the very first things I did was created one of the very first health coaching companies in the country. To say, “Well, what if we provided everybody in the population a success coach who simply builds a trusting relationship enough that you’re willing to be vulnerable and say, ‘Well, this is what I want in life?'” I didn’t come into this life to manage a body, and the healthcare system wants us to just focus on managing our body. No, I came into this world to achieve goals and I would love healthcare to help support me in achieving my goals. So, coaching role is not to say, “Let me educate you on how you better manage your body and let me try to motivate you to do it.” It’s, “No, how do I become a guest at your table and journey with you in helping you achieve your goals in life?” And that’s what healthcare should look like.

James Maskell:

Yeah, I love that. I love that analogy and I love that vision. So, since then, obviously, you’ve taken a lot of ground in different areas. And I’m excited today to get into not just what you’ve done, but I think on the horizon is some big shifts in the way that the biggest payers in healthcare pay for healthcare. And I’d love to get into that because I know a lot of practitioners listening to this have started their own independent practice and are serving their community with a type of medicine that they feel is morally correct as it comes to really helping people getting…they’ve got out of the system, they’ve got themselves into a situation where they can interact with the patients directly and throw off the shackles of the system. But I also know that one of the things that I’m excited to connect about is I think we’re so divorced from reality that it’s very difficult sometimes to understand what healthcare could look like if we had built on a different foundation completely. And so I’d love to understand some of what you’ve seen in your travels.

Darrell Moon:

Well, the greatest discovery of my career was about three or four years ago when I discovered that there actually is a healthcare system in the world that’s done it right. And it’s very different than the way we think about healthcare. It’s called the Nuka, N-U-K-A, System of Care. It’s based in Anchorage, Alaska of all places and manages all the health from community health to tertiary care for 70,000 Alaska native people. And the story behind how they built their system I think is one of the best business cases of all time. They were given the opportunity from the federal government to build their own healthcare system. And they said to themselves, “Look, we have one of the worst population healths in the world, our HEDIS scores are less than 5%, and we have healthcare from the federal government through the Indian healthcare system, and it’s not very good healthcare.” And they’re even admitting it’s not very good healthcare. So, how can we make this any worse than it already is? So, they did something that no one has ever done before in making healthcare. They went out to their customers, their 70,000 members and said, “What would you like healthcare to look like?”

Amazing. Somebody actually asked the customer, that’s not what we do in healthcare. We go to school and learn all about this amazing body that’s so complicated, it’s almost hard to wrap your head around. And then we say, “Come beat the benefactors of our great wisdom. And when you get sick, we’ll fix you, we’ll put you back on the cliff. And the more times you get sick, the more money we’ll make.” That’s the broken sick care system. What they said, “What we want is a healthcare system that’s not paternalistic in nature, but rather supportive. We want a healthcare system that partners with us on our journey through life, helping us reach our life’s aspirations.” And they said, “That’s an amazing idea. Let’s create a healthcare system around this aspirational model and let’s really focus on being a guest at people’s table and really supporting them in reaching their dreams.”

And so they went to their physicians that they were inheriting and they said, “Hey, we’re going to build a system that looks like this.” And the physicians mostly said, “We don’t know how to do that. We weren’t trained in that. We were trained to diagnose problems and to fix problems, so I’m sorry, that’s not our expertise.” And so they started from scratch, and they literally built what is now considered internationally and nationally the best healthcare system in the world. They’re the only healthcare system that’s won the President’s Malcolm Baldrige Award for quality twice. Often, people think that Singapore has one of the best healthcare systems, least cost, best outcomes. Well, they went to Alaska to learn how to do it.

Countries from all over the world have been traveling to Alaska for over 10 years to go to their conferences to explore, “How does this healthcare system get 98% satisfaction?” Their HEDIS scores are now in some of the top heat of scores out there, above 75% in every case and sometimes over 90%. And the most amazing thing is that they do healthcare for half the cost of everybody else. So it’s not only good for outcomes and satisfaction, it costs a lot less. So they designed the healthcare system with the customer in mind, and they said, “We’re going to have a team, a primary care team whose goal it is to be in relationship with every member that’s assigned to that team.”

It’ll be a provider, a primary care provider, a nurse case manager, a medical assistant, a support person. But their first job is not to be a doctor. Their first job is not to be a nurse. Their first job is to be in relationship with each member of their panel that they’re in charge of. So it’s like having my dad be a doctor. “I want to be in relationship with every one of my members where they know that they can call me like their dad. If they’ve got something going on, just give me a call and let me know what’s going on and let me get in relationship with you such that I know what your dreams are. I know what you’re trying to accomplish. And let me help influence and support you and living life such a way that you can accomplish those.”

James Maskell:

Absolutely.

Darrell Moon:

And then when something does happen, perfect care immediately, every time, coordinated at every level. And then they wrapped this group of primary care team of four with all these specialists and ancillary services so that primary care is this massively powerful intervention that’s all about getting upstream. Let’s avoid the Taj Mahal ICU by avoiding it from ever happening. And that’s not to say that nobody ever goes to the hospital. I mean, it happens. But when you can reduce your total number of admissions in half because you put more resources and effort up front in knowing people and helping people reach their dreams, it’s amazing what you can have.

And people think, “Well, yeah, wellness is a really good idea. Let’s see if we can invite people to do what we want them to. Let’s see if we can help people change behavior to better manage their health.” We got it all wrong. This is not about how do we get people to do what we want them to do. This is about how do we become a partner with people, be in their corner, and support them in reaching their goals by weaving our expertise into their lives. So that was one of the best discoveries of my career. It was just to come across something that works, something that’s completely transformed. And now because we’ve shone a light…I remember asking them, “Who comes to your conference?” And of course, Norway, Sweden, the Polynesian Islands, the Canadian provinces, UK countries. But does anybody ever come up from lower 48? Not very often. “Okay, we’re going to change that.”

So we’ve been shining this bright light across the country through conferences, through speaking to CEOs, to all kinds of events. And now, because we’ve opened the eyes of some very influential people, the largest jumbo employers in America, I mean, we’re talking about the big companies, the Prudential Financials, the Pitney Bowes, the American Express, the Ernst & Youngs, the big companies are now rolling out to their employees a whole new option. They’re not forcing anybody into a new option. They’re just simply saying, “Hey, there’s an aspirational model of healthcare where healthcare wraps their arms around you, and we’ll pay a hundred percent of it if you’ll sign up for it, but we’re not going to force you because anything we do that forces you says, ‘Oh, it must be bad.’ So we’re just going to give you the option. We’re going to pay a hundred percent of it, and you can have a whole lot better healthcare and we hope that you’ll all take advantage of it.”

So I think that is the ignition that will set off an explosion across this country to drive perhaps the biggest change in healthcare that we’ve seen in the last 75 years.

James Maskell:

That’s amazing. I think anyone who’s been involved in healthcare could intuit that that is possible, but just don’t have any context for the fact that it’s been done. It’s really exciting. The closest thing that I can see from what I’ve come across in my world so far, there was a doctor called Dr. Pamela Wible, who was involved in…I featured her in my first book, and she had been a primary care doctor, and when she started her, what ended up being a DPC practice in Oregon, the first thing she did was to have basically a town hall meeting where she was like, “What kind of healthcare do you want?” And then went from the customers first and built basically something with 10% overhead rather than 75% overhead, and direct payments to the doctor, and more availability, and all of that. So I see that process is obvious and clear. And I’m glad to see that a whole organization and a whole system took that on and that the outcomes are so spectacular.

So I guess when you’ve been up there and you’ve had a chance to go up to Anchorage, what are some of the things that hit you as an observer when you previously observed a mental health hospital run in the way that it is in America?

Darrell Moon:

Well, and not just mental health, but all hospitals, they will never call a patient a patient. You’re like, “Well, what do they call them then?” They call them customer owners because this healthcare system that they built is for the customer. It’s owned by the customer. It was designed specifically to meet the needs of the customer. So when they refer to their members, they never call them patients, and they call them customer owners, and it creates an aura of, “I’m here to serve you. How can I become a support to you?” The other thing is the word compliance. I love hearing from their top executives when you say, “Oh, and gosh, relationship-based healthcare is better for getting people to be compliant with the doctor’s orders.” They’re like, “Yeah, no.” That’s not even looking at it the right way. We in the healthcare system need to become compliant with the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the customer and turn that whole idea around to, “It’s not about whether the patient is compliant with me, is whether I’m compliant with the customer.” So a very different way to look at healthcare.

James Maskell:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting. Yeah, so many things coming up there. I mean, I think there’s been this evolution of the idea of compliance to empowerment participation. It’s not…Again, that compliance communication is very top-down, and this is a very much emerging at the moment.

Darrell Moon:

And one more thing that I’m very impressed with their overall culture and how they look at healthcare. We think of, “What do we need to do right now to address the problem right now?” And I’ve heard so many people saying, “Well, why would a company want to worry about the overall population health of their employees when their employees are going to turn over? And let’s just identify the very highest-risk individuals and let’s see if we can get them to change, and let’s really focus on saving money with a few.” Nothing could be further from what Nuka does. Nuka says, “No, we’re building a system for the eighth generation. We are building a system today that will impact our grandkids’ grandkids’ grandkids.” That is a perspective we don’t even think about in this country in healthcare.

And yet we should, we should be thinking about, “What is good for the whole society? What is going to be best for everybody’s mental health?” Instead of, “Oh, let’s just intervene when somebody’s bad enough to be diagnosed as mentally ill,” or “Let’s just jump in when somebody is diagnosably treatable.” No, why don’t we engage in an overall population health environment that supports generations upon generations upon generations. So there is so much we can learn from the best healthcare system in the world that, “Oh, what it would be like for all of us if we could drive healthcare to be like that?” And the only way we drive healthcare to be like that is to wake up the people who have the purse strings, who buy healthcare and offer it to their employees and wake them up to the fact that they’re buying a bad product at a bad price, and they could be buying something so much better. And that’s what we do in Aspirational Healthcare consulting, is we basically teach those who buy healthcare how to wield their purchasing power to get what they really want.

James Maskell:

I’d love to come back to that in a minute and get into that because I think there are some opportunities for clinics to align on that end. But I guess I just wanted to start by, what are the opportunities for people listening to this, whether they be innovators in healthcare, doctors, CEOs, what are the opportunities that you see to go and participate, witness, and see what’s going on up in Alaska?

Darrell Moon:

Well, let’s talk specifically. Anyone can go to their June conference. They hold one every year, and I would invite everybody to go to their June conference, extremely educational. And you’ll spend three whole days focused on learning how to build relationships with people. “What? Why would I spend three days learning how to build relationships with people?” Because it’s the most fundamental principle of building the right healthcare system. Anyway, we could go on that a long time. But when we talk about providers, let’s talk about providers first of all. There are very few primary care internist family doctors around this country that like their current job. Why? Because most of them have been bought up by hospital administrators like me, and they feel like pawns of the hospital administrator. And it’s like, “I got so many RVUs I have to do every day. I have so many patients I have to see. So many exams I got to do, and boy, they’re going to hold me accountable to make sure I get my 30 or 40 RVUs in every day.”

It’s a terrible job. No wonder there’s a shortage of primary care providers. Who would want to be a primary care provider in that environment? They can’t spend the time they need to really understand the patient’s need. They basically have eight minutes to diagnose and to do one of two things, write a script or send somebody off to a specialist. That’s not primary care. That’s nothing but a triage. Let’s get in relationship with people and really figure out how do we help them in their lives. And so for years, for 10, 20 years, we have doctors like your friend who have said, “I’m done with this. I’m no longer going to be involved in this. I’m just going to go off on my own. I’m going to tell my 3,000 patients, ‘If you want to stay with me, be willing to give me a subscription or a membership every month. I won’t bill insurance. I’ll let go all my five staff that fight with the insurance companies. I’ll simply take a 70, 80, $90 a month from each member and I’ll just take care of your health and we’ll be in relationship.'”

Well, for 20 years, hundreds of physicians have done that, but they’ve had to go find people that are willing to pay out of their pocket, not paid by the insurance plan, not paid by the employer, this type of healthcare. Well, the great news is the largest employers in the country and many others are seeing the value of that kind of primary care and are saying, “You know what? We’re willing to fund it. We’re willing to pay for it.” So the demand for that kind of primary care is exploding. And so to providers that are in the current system, and they hate it, for goodness sakes, look at offering, jump outside of that system, say goodbye to billing insurance companies, and jump into an environment. Be a part of this network of primary care providers that are being offered by these jumbo employers and now many other employers of many sizes so that this can grow.

I mean, there are not enough direct primary care providers in this country right now for the six million employees, just coming from the jumbo employers, over the next two years. When you add onto that, all the employers that now can do the very same thing and will be doing it because of some easy buttons that have been created. We have this growing demand for direct primary care membership, advanced primary care. And I would say to anybody looking, going into healthcare, into becoming a provider, whether it’s a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant, MD, or DO, functional medicine, “Get over on the subscription side and be held accountable for cost and quality and outcomes, not for RVUs, and being productive to the hospital minister.”

James Maskell:

Absolutely. Yeah. You make such a good point. One of the things that I think that stops doctors from making that leap is they’re like, “Well, how am I going to fill my patient panel?” Right?

Darrell Moon:

Yeah.

James Maskell:

And traditionally, what…Not traditionally, but I guess in the last 10 years, if you wanted to do that, you’d have to think very clearly about doing it, and you’d have to organize yourself and you’d have to make sure that you had some sort of way of predictably converting enough people to fill the patient panel, otherwise, you’re going to go hungry. And so…

Darrell Moon:

Exactly. Exactly. You can take on a lot of risks.

James Maskell:

But I have seen in the last few years where this now employer demand exists where doctors who organize it and connect into a local employer, I mean, I’ve seen examples where before they quit their job, they basically inked a deal with an employer to treat 500 of their patients at $70 a month, and there’s 35 grand a month on predictable—

Darrell Moon:

To get started. Yup.

James Maskell:

—revenue that’s created, right?

Darrell Moon:

And so much of the care that they provide can now be provided in a whole new environment. Virtual calls can take care of 90, well, maybe 70% of everything that needs to be done. And there are many of these providers who now will go to the patient’s home when they do need to be seen in person. Take the labs, check them physically, if they need an X-ray, have a mobile X-ray machine come to the home. We’re starting to build healthcare around the customer. Every other industry has. My goodness, I can have someone come pick up my laundry at my home. I can have somebody bring my meals. I can have somebody… I mean, there’s so many resources that are willing to build around the customer, and yet for the most part, healthcare is still in the, “Come in, fill out a paper,” they’re not even technology savvy in many cases. And “Come to us,” and wait 10 minutes, if you’re lucky. Usually wait an hour or two. Or “I can’t get an appointment for six weeks.” It’s not built around the customer.

James Maskell:

So let’s say I’m a CEO of a company, but the local healthcare system has not met my needs at all. I’m in Georgia. What are the recommended steps for a buyer of healthcare to get something of what Nuka has created? Because obviously, they can’t force the whole system to change overnight, but they can influence with some of their buying power, I’d imagine, right?

Darrell Moon:

Well, you couldn’t have asked me a more fortunate question. I love that question because that is my expertise. I love to show business leaders that what they think they don’t have, they really have, which is power over the system. You’re right. Many business leaders think that they have to fall prey to this misaligned system, meaning that they find a broker who gets paid by the insurance company a commission, and that broker signs a broker letter of record with them, and they just have to put up with whatever that broker brings. And they bring them three or four proposals from three or four carriers. And they have to choose the worst of all evils or the best of all evils. That is not how it has to happen, in any way, shape or form. First of all, business leader, this is not a purchase to be made. This is a problem to be solved, which is what CEOs are really good at.

So the first thing you should do is sit down and say, “Why do I want to buy healthcare? Why in the world am I even purchasing healthcare in the first place?” And they’ll decide, “Well, I don’t, I can’t attract retain top talent. So that’s my number one thing. I want a healthy productive workforce because my product is better, my services are better when my employees are healthy and productive. I want my employees to think the healthcare I offer them is extremely wonderful. I want them to be satisfied. And for goodness sakes, I wish I didn’t have to spend as much money on it.” That’s what I hear after speaking to over a thousand CEOs across the country. I hear that over and over and over. And when I ask them…Peter Drucker was right. What gets measured gets managed.

How many of you are measuring to see whether you’re getting what you want? Zero. CEOs are even measuring to see if they’re getting why they spend the second-largest cost of doing business. That’s crazy. And so upside down because they don’t think they have the power to do anything about it. Well, first thing they need to do is that. They need to define their objectives. They need to put in place ways to measure. And it’s not hard. You can ask your employees a survey. Find out, “Hey, is it working? Did it work to bring you here? Is it working to keep you here?” And then for goodness sakes, if you’re going to put this over in HR’s hands, then for goodness sakes, align HR’s bonuses, recognition, incentives along with you getting your business objectives. That never happens. It’s a purchase to be made. “Go find an insurance plan for our employees.” No, build your objectives, align your internal people in there. And for goodness sakes, align your broker to work for you.

And when I tell CEOs that they can actually sign a fee-based contract with a broker, a benefits’ consultant, where the benefit consultant gets paid by you, the employer, and their incentives are based on you accomplishing their business objectives, it’s almost like you just invented the light bulb. “I can do that? They can do that? I can actually have the broker work for me, and their incentives and their payment comes from me based on getting what I want?” It is the best kept secret in America.

And the healthcare system doesn’t want business leaders to know that. They want to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes and say, “Oh, no, the only way you do healthcare is to sign a broker letter of record. And then we get paid by the insurance company and we get to make more money when the costs go up.” Just like the insurance company gets to make more money when the costs go up and everybody else in the system. If you’re not going to align the system to work for you, it is never going to work for you. And it’s not a choice to be made by the broker. It’s not a choice to be made by HR. It’s a choice that has to be made by the business leaders. And there are plenty of business or benefit consultants, and I’ve got a whole litany of them around the country who are willing to do that. And I love to introduce employers to those who are literally willing to work for them.

And you know what’s amazing? Is that when a broker or a benefit consultant really looks at healthcare from the perspective of the buyer truly, and their incentives and bonuses are based on the buyer getting what they want, it’s amazing how the options open up like a whole new universe. Many of these guys are literally, all of their clients are spending half or less than half everybody else in the country. The average amount of money per employee that employers are buying healthcare for is $14,000 per employee. Those who have completely aligned their entire book of business to work for their clients are spending six to $7,000 per employee. And they’re giving them much better healthcare. It’s like the Nuka story. You can actually provide a better benefit at a significantly lower cost when you align the system to work for you. So the simple answer, and I could go into lots of those solutions, but the most important thing is stop allowing the healthcare system to pull the wool over your eyes.

James Maskell:

And where is all that extra cost lost? Is it administration? Is it overpriced?

Darrell Moon:

It’s all the misalignments. Only 27% of the $4 trillion we spend in this country on healthcare goes to providing healthcare to actually pays for the people that provide the healthcare services. There is a ton of money, I would suggest, having run hospitals, that almost half of everything that is spent in the hospital setting is to simply get paid. It’s all the things you do to be accredited with accommodation, with joint commission. It’s all the things you do to get authorizations and pre-authorizations. And all of the continued authorizations and all the things you have to do to battle the insurance companies. It has nothing to do with healthcare. It’s about running a business that tries to make money and you’re spending the money in areas that have nothing to do with health and producing health.

James Maskell:

Yeah, You know, as a—

Darrell Moon:

And then all the middlemen. There’s so many middlemen in healthcare. I mean, if you talk about the pharmacy benefit management companies, the PBMs, oh my gosh, probably the worst egregious profits in the industry are just getting funneled into people’s pockets, have nothing to do with the drugs that are being bought.

James Maskell:

Yeah. This reminds me of a talk that we had at the Functional Forum in 2021 by David Tusek, who is the owner of Cloud Medical, one of the first DPC clinics in the country. I think he has three or four locations, but he did sort of his mathematics equation, I guess, live on his talk. It was sort of like his Ted talk for DPC to save American healthcare. And in that, he sort of gave his equation of what might happen or how it could happen that essentially that every American could be in a DPC relationship and what that would mean for the numbers of doctors doing DPC, and what would that mean for teams. I mean, I don’t know if it’s possible, but it seems—

Darrell Moon:

And the providers would be happier. The patients would be happier. The employers who buy healthcare is happier. The three main important people in the whole equation would all be better off.

James Maskell:

Exactly. Yeah. Well, look, I really want to take a moment, Darrell, just to appreciate you coming to share this message. I think on the micro, practitioners have been able to see, “Hey, this can work better,” like you said, “for me and for the patients and whoever’s paying.” But I think we haven’t really seen examples of what’s possible on the macro. And we’ve looked, we’ve definitely done all kinds of interesting things over the years. Over 10 years, we’ve focused on a lot of innovation. But I’m really grateful for you bringing the good news of Nuka. And I’m excited to share in the show notes some of the opportunities. And I’m excited to come to Anchorage and check it out because I really believe that once people…When I went to the hospital in Stuttgart, the Steiner Hospital and actually saw how it was run, the energy of the space, it really opened up my eyes, and that was eight years ago now, to the idea that if you build something from the ground up with a different set of values, that the change is extremely palpable and noticeable.

And so I’m excited to come and witness and participate. And also, I just want to honor you and the journey that you’ve gone on. To be involved in 25 years. I know you’re not done yet. Not even done because the mission still remains and healthcare still getting worse.

Darrell Moon:

Well, and let me invite your members to not only consider the June conference that the Nuka System puts on themselves, where you literally get to learn about the nuts and bolts of their healthcare system, but they’re inviting and we’re sponsoring and putting on a conference for business leaders later in the summer. So in September 10th, 11th, and 12th on their campus, in their beautiful conference center, we have seats for 150 business leaders from across the country to go see how the best healthcare system in the world can work and how they can open their eyes to how healthcare should work, learn about the easy buttons that employers can push to implement an aspirational model of healthcare. And then they’ll spend the afternoons and evenings networking with the other CEOs while enjoying unforgettable Alaska wilderness adventures. So three days of fun, learning, and being blown away with the frontier of healthcare.

James Maskell:

Awesome. Well, if you’re listening to this and you’re interested, feel free to get in touch, and I’ll put all of Darrell’s details into the show notes so you can get in touch with him directly. Darrell, thanks for coming to share this message of hopefulness. I think that many practitioners will be really excited to hear the message. And grateful for your leadership and to be connected and look forward to seeing how this project progresses. And my hope is that this is the kickstart that many practitioners who haven’t made the choice to shift over to a customer-centric model that this might be the moment for them to feel connected and committed to that mission—

Darrell Moon:

That would be amazing.

James Maskell:

—for themselves and for their community. So thank you.

Darrell Moon:

Thanks for having me on. I enjoyed it. Thank you so much.

James Maskell:

This has been the Evolution of Medicine podcast. We’ve been here with Darell Moon. We’ll have all the links to Aspirational Healthcare, the Nuka events coming up in the show notes. In the meantime, thanks so much for tuning in. I’m your host, James Maskell, and we’ll see you next time.

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