Q&A with Devdutta Sangvai, MBA ’03 of DUHS

Devdutta SangvaiDevdutta Sangvai, MD, MBA ’03
HSM ‘03
Executive Director, Duke Connected Care
Associate Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Health System
Medical Director, DukeWELL
Assistant Professor; Family Medicine, Pediatrics & Psychiatry; Duke University Medical Center
Vice Chair; Quality, Safety, and Clinical; Department of Community and Family Medicine
Associate Program Director, Management and Leadership Pathway for Residents
Duke University

What is the biggest challenge in healthcare today, from your perspective?

The biggest challenge in healthcare today is the pace of change. Every industry is undergoing transformation in the manner in which care is delivered, financed, and value is measured. Successful organizations of the future will need to be nimble, willing to partner, and ready to accept both financial and performance risk in some capacity.

What advice would you give a young business person going into health care today?

The healthcare sector is full of promise and as populations age and we are increasingly more successful at managing chronic disease there will always be a need for healthcare services. Programs like Fuqua Health Sector Management provide unparalleled training to function in the evolving healthcare arena. I would advise a young business person to seek out opportunities that are in the forefront of new models of care and new models of payment. I would caution a career trajectory that solely focused on volume as a metric of performance.

What is the most exciting initiative in your organization today, and why?

Duke Medicine is involved in several projects and initiatives that are focused on the new paradigm in healthcare. Among these are its focus on accountable care. Duke along with other community providers has created an Accountable Care Organization that aims to improve quality while decreasing cost–all while getting the right care to the right patient at the right time. This exciting initiative is helping us better understand how to deliver care efficiently and in a manner that is patient and family centered.

What does the future of health care services look like to physicians and providers?

Physicians and other providers in the future will increasingly rely on teams to meet their clinical objectives. The focus will be less on how much of a service is provided and more on the appropriateness and quality of the service provided. This will require all providers to work in collaboration towards a common goal. We will likely see new and innovative partnerships among providers including physicians and hospitals. Partnerships may also extend to include payers as well.

Where does the pharmaceutical industry see its greatest opportunity ahead?

The pharmaceutical industry’s greatest opportunity is in specialty pharmacy. We can now treat diseases that even the short as a decade ago were considered sub-optimally treated or untreatable. However the promise of specialty drugs has to be tempered with the reality that these medications are expensive and increasingly unaffordable. Like other providers in healthcare I believe the pharmaceutical industry will need to look to innovative partnerships to be able to provide access to their products.


About Dr. Sangvai:

Dr. Sangvai is executive director for Duke Connected Care, associate chief medical officer (ACMO) for Duke University Health System and medical director for DukeWELL (a physician-run population health program for Duke employees and dependents). He is assistant professor of family medicine, pediatrics & psychiatry for Duke University Medical Center and vice chair for quality, safety and clinical for Duke’s Department of Community & Family Medicine. Dr. Sangvai also serves as the associate program director for the Management and Leadership Pathway for Residents (MLPR)—an innovative residency training program at Duke designed to develop future physician executives. Originally from Ohio, Dr. Sangvai has been at Duke since 2003 and has previously served as Duke’s chief of family medicine.

In addition to his work at Duke, Dr. Sangvai is significantly involved in leadership and organized medicine both locally and nationally. He currently serves as President of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and is a 2004 graduate of the NCMS Leadership College. He completed a 3-year term as the chair of the young physicians section of the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Sangvai has also served as the national chair for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) organization of student representatives and organization of residents.

Dr. Sangvai graduated from the Ohio State University and received his M.D. from the Medical College of Ohio, where he also completed his family medicine and chief residencies. He earned his M.B.A. from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. Dr. Sangvai is a certified physician executive with the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) and fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).