The American healthcare system is broken for patients and healthcare stakeholders.
By Donald Saelinger MD
Healthcare cost and quality are important concerns for Americans, based on data obtained from the recent midterm elections. The questions are multiple: is the US healthcare system broken; why is it broken, why does it cost so much; who should pay for it; why is the quality less than excellent; who can fix it; how can it be fixed; is it a political/government issue? As a physician with nearly
Dr. Donald Saelinger is a physician group consultant and board certified Gastroenterologist. . His goal is to help physician groups become high quality provider organizations with excellent clinical and financial performance, through improved governance, management and leadership. Additionally, he is also a practicing, gastroenterologist.
Dr Saelinger started Patient First Physicians Group (PFPG) in 1975 as an Internist and Gastroenterologist in Northern Kentucky, currently a community with a population of 500,000 residents in the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan service area. He founded and lead the physician group (PFPG) for 37 years. He expanded the group to 80 physicians working in 16 sites in Northern Kentucky. Additionally, the group owned an imaging center with X-ray, CT and MRI capability, a Diabetes and Endocrinology center, a full service laboratory, physical therapy facilities, a sleep lab, and a large surgicenter. PFPG was the largest independent, multi-specialty physician group in the Cincinnati metropolitan service area until it was sold to St Elizabeth Healthcare in 2009. Dr Saelinger subsequently retired from the organization in Jan of 2010. PFPG and its survivor, St. Elizabeth Physicians was the highest performing medical group in the region from a quality perspective as reflected by 3 of the 4 major health plans in the market. Additionally it was a financially successful organization. PFPG joined with St. Elizabeth in 2009 to form the basis for an integrated delivery system in Northern Kentucky, called St Elizabeth Healthcare.
After leaving St Elizabeth Healthcare and St Elizabeth Physicians (successor organization to Patient First Physicians Group) , Dr Saelinger has been involved in various consulting roles for Healthcare business and policy. He has also been involved with various locum tenens positions in Gastroenterology. He recently retired as Gastroenterology section chief and medical subspecialty division chief at Straub Medical Center and Hawaii Pacific Health in Honolulu Hawaii and has returned to locum tenens roles in Gastroenterology and healthcare business consulting.
1960 – 1964 Covington Latin School, Covington, Kentucky.
1964 – 1967 Thomas More College, Covington Ky.Bachelor Arts, Biology
1967 – 1969 University of Cincinnati, Master Science, Microbiology
1969 – 1973 University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky MD, With Highest Honors Ranked first in Class of 91
1979 Xavier University, Business Administration
1974 National Board of Medical Examiners
1977 American Board of Internal Medicine (certified for life) Meets MOC
2016 American Board of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology
3. Indiana (locum tenens)
5. Penn (locum tenens)
6. Maine (Locum tenens)
Honors and Awards
1968 NDEA Fellowship Microbiology
1969 Sigma Xi Honor Society
1971 Mosby Award, outstanding performance, Science
1971 Hoffman La Roche Award
1972 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
1973 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Medical Society
1973 Deans Award, highest academic performance Class 1973,
University of Louisville ShoolofMedicine Ranked first in class of 91.
1974 Upjohn “Intern of the Year” Award University of Cincinnati Hospital
1997 Outstanding Community Leadership Award, St Luke Hospital Board of Directors
2002 Cincinnati Business Courier “Healthcare Heros Award”
2004 Consumers Research Council… “America’s Top Physicians” Award
2007 Patient First Physicians Group: Distinguished leadership award.
2016 Top Doctor Award, Top Gastroenterologist in Hawaii
2017 Strode Award, Hawaii Pacific Health. Highest patient satisfaction score
COMMUNITY AND BOARD ACTIVITIES:
1981 -1988 Medical Personal Pool, Board of Advisors
1983- 1989 American Heart Association, Board of Directors Kentucky Affiliate Vice President Northern KY Chapter 1985
1983- 1995 Carmel Manor Nursing Home, Board of Directors
1983 -1987 Covington Latin School, Board of Directors
1980 -1996 St Charles Nursing Home, Medical Advisory Board, Board Chairman 1989
1988- 1997 Northern Kentucky District Health Board, Chairman of Board, 1994-1995
1986 -2006 St Luke Hospital Board of Trustees
1995 -2002 Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors
1990 -1998 Choice Care, Board of Directors (Health Plan)
Vice Chairman of Board 1994 – 1999
Chairman of Board 1999
Chairman Medical Committee of Board 1993 – 1999
1989 -1990 Northern Kentucky Committee for Uncompensated Care Board
1988 -1989 University of Cinti Health Plan Board of Directors.
1993 –2010 Citizens Bank of Campbell County, Board of Directors
1990 – present Funded the “Saelinger Family” scholarship fund, Thomas More College.
2006 – 2011 Quality Measurement and Improvement committee of the Kentucky Medical Association.
2005 – 2016. Claims and Underwriting Committee, Pronational Insurance Corporation
2007 – 2010 Farmers Capital Bank Corporation (NASDAQ: FFKT) Board of Directors
2007 – 2012 Greater Cincinnati Airport Board of Directors
2006 – 2011 Kentucky e-health IT adoption committee
2006 – 2013 DMAT team Northern Kentucky
2005 – 2013 Northern Ky. Medical Reserve Corp. (MRC)
2000- 2009 Northern Ky Chamber: Health Policy Committee
2008- 2010 Northern Ky vision 2015: health care committee.
1990 - 2010 Served on several Federal Health care advisory groups (health care advisory group for US Senate Finance Committee and physician advisory board to HHS) during both the Bush and Clinton administrations.
1968 - 1969 National Institute of Health Grant: To study the biosynthesis of
Nucleic acid in tissue cultured cells.
1979 - 1980 G. D. Searle Company, A double blind comparison of Metamucil and placebo in the treatment of patients with
Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
1. Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
2. American College of Physicians
3. American Medical Association
4. American Society for Internal Medicine`
5. Southwest Ohio Gastroenterology Society
6. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
7. American Gastroenterology Association
8. Northern Kentucky Medical Society President of medical society 1986
9. Southern Medical Association
10. National Association of Managed Care Physicians
11. American College of Physician Executives
12. Crohns and Colitis Foundation
13. Cincinnati Academy of Medicine
14. Hawaii Gastroenterology Society
Hospital Staff Appointment
University of Cincinnati Medical Center Hospital, (1977 to 1990)
St Luke Hospital(East and West) (St Luke now part of St Elizabeth 2009)
Senior attending staff
President Medical Staff 1983
Chief of Medicine, 1982 and 1988
Chief Gastroenterology Lab. 1979 to April 2010
Board of Trustees, St Luke, 1986 to 2006
St Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood Kentucky (1974 to 2011)
Senior Attending Staff
Chief Medicine, 1984 and 1985
Sr. Vice President Medical Center (2006 to 2010)
Indiana University Health Arnett (2010)
Susquehnna Health Systems, Williamsport Penn (locum tenens 2011)
St Joseph Hospital, Maine, 2012
Hawaii Pacific Health, Straub Medical Center (2012 to 2018)
Chief Gastroenterology Section
Chairman Medical Subspecialty Division
1. Saelinger, Donald A., 1969, Masters Thesis. Control Of Aspartic
Transcarbamylase in normal and in Infectious Bovine Rhinotrachiiti Virus
infected Cells: Department of Microbiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
2. Saelinger, Donald A., Hoffman, Jerald L.: Biosynthesis of selenobases in transfer RNA by Escherichia coli: J. Mol. Biol. 69:9-17, 1972.
3. Saelinger, Donald A., Raff, Martin J.: Meningitis presenting as an acute abdomen. Southern Medical Journal. 66: 1147 -1148, 1973.
4 Brady, M.E., Ritschel, W.A., Saelinger, D.A., Patterson, A.J.: Animal model and pharmacokinetic interpretation of nicotine poisoning in man. Inter. J Clin. Pharm. Biopharm 17:12 -17,1982
5. Saelinger D.A., Discoy H.P., Haloperidol induced chronic cholestatic liver disease. Gastroenterology. 83;694, 1982
6. Multiple articles, papers, lectures relating to Healthcare Industry: healthcare business and Gastroenterology clinical topics including physician group governance, health care delivery and healthcare financing.