WHCC20 | Interviews

Alex Antoniou, MD
Medical Director, Healthworx
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?
The high cost of adequate health care. We need to eliminate inefficiencies, invest in innovation, and maximize economies of scale. Health care is currently a complex web of thousands of different businesses with competing interests. As a society, we need to align our goals and interests so we can optimize our health care system to provide the best care at the best value.

Who was the mentor who helped you the most to get to where you are today?
I have been lucky to have had a few people mentor me and I am eternally grateful. Each person was different, but they all share one thing in common: They saw a curiosity and an interest in me and they each helped me nurture that through actively engaging with me and pushing me to pursue and develop my ideas. Having someone believe in you enough that they push you to be better is powerful. A mentor doesn’t need to be an expert, but they do need to have a desire to see you succeed.

What has you most optimistic about the future of health care?
While I am a member of a small group of physicians who have moved out of the day-to-day practice of medicine to focus on bringing a clinical voice to business decisions in healthcare, today I’m very happy to see more and more providers (physicians and other health professionals) stepping out of traditional roles of operations and driving business and regulatory decisions in health care. A lot of the complexities we have in health care today came about because the role of those stakeholders has not been valued in the past – but this is now changing.

What motivates you to keep doing the work that you do?
Knowing that what I do serves more than just my own interests motivates me to take risks and propose larger, bolder initiatives that could have a meaningful impact to the members and patients who trust us to build a better, more affordable health care system.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring health care leader?
Forget the traditional advice to “stay in your lane” and be proactive if you want to affect meaningful change. What you’ll find is genuine support from others looking to move the needle toward better health care services.

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