Blue Cross Chief Medical Officer Joins National Committee to Identify, Address Causes of Physician Burnout

Aug. 27, 2018

BATON ROUGE — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Chief Medical Officer, Vindell Washington, M.D., has joined a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that will study causes of physician burnout and recommend solutions to better support them, thus improving patients’ care.

Washington is the only health insurance representative on this 17-member committee, comprised of representatives from academia, healthcare providers and health-focused research organizations. 

“Having begun my career in healthcare as an emergency medicine physician, I saw firsthand the effects of stress and burnout on my peers,” Washington said. “And in my current role, I felt it was important for this committee to have input from a healthcare payer’s perspective. When doctors get frustrated and quit practicing, it not only takes good people out of the healthcare system, but it can disrupt care for their patients. By working together to look at ways we can improve physicians’ work environment and reduce burnout, we have an opportunity to help them and, in turn, make sure their patients have ongoing access to the providers they depend on.” 

The committee will look at different elements of clinician training and the day-to-day work environment that can lead to burnout and will publish a report formally recommending interventions to address these, along with ways physicians can use emerging digital tools to make their workload more manageable. The committee will also propose a research agenda for future study of these areas.

Washington, who joined Blue Cross in June 2017 after serving as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has long worked to advance health information technology, with greater adoption of electronic health records and digital tools for easier data flow among patients, healthcare providers and insurers.

Learn more about this committee.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.

With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.