Alumnus Helps Make Good Care Count

In healthcare, incentives don’t always align with good patient outcomes. For instance, in volume-based models, doctors and hospitals often stand to make more money from more frequent expensive procedures, regardless of whether the patient could receive something simpler and more economical. It’s MHA program alumnus Michael Hancock’s job to realign those incentives to excellent value-based care. 

Hancock is the executive director of operations transformation for Castell, an Intermountain Health company that is dedicated to helping organizations create and maintain value-based care contracts. He oversees a team of 350 that helps healthcare providers perform well in value-based contracts. 

Among their purview, incentivizing the management of mental health, diabetes and chronic illness through innovative tools. When other industries have the ability to make an appointment via an app, but healthcare institutions don’t, Hancock asks why. 

“How are we pushing the conventional ways of thinking and stretching things that are different and better for patients?” he asks when judging success. 

Hancock earned his MHA from Weber State in 2014, and he credits the program for its integration with the workforce. At the time, he was a supervisor within the healthcare industry who had a bachelor’s degree in health services administration. He had the choice between WSU and going out of state, where he would not be able to hold a job, especially at a supervisory level. 

In addition, Hancock had many connections to the industry through faculty and guest speakers. The combination of those connections and the program’s ability to allow for a work life enabled him to see the connections between what he learned and its application to what he practiced. 

When he first gravitated toward health care, he had an interest in both business and health. Upon the advice of his mentor, it was a natural pairing. Now, though, he sees a deeper reason for his involvement. 

“That’s the thing that’s so great about healthcare, it’s that it’s so purpose driven,” Hancock said. “As a leader in healthcare, you can leverage that purpose so much in the way that you lead.”