DaVita® Medical Insights

New Year, New CMO for DaVita Kidney Care

As of Jan. 1, 2020, Jeffrey Giullian, MD, started his new role as chief medical officer (CMO) for DaVita Kidney Care. Dr. Giullian succeeds Allen R. Nissenson, MD, who served as DaVita’s CMO for more than 11 years. Although Dr. Nissenson will be missed, DaVita is confident that Dr. Giullian has the experience to successfully fill this leadership role.

Experience in nephrology

Since joining DaVita in 2016, Dr. Giullian has supported and grown DaVita’s clinical capabilities in multiple capacities, including serving as national group medical director and playing an active role in organizing local clinical operations response efforts during natural disasters. Dr. Giullian has most recently led clinical quality and safety efforts as CMO for DaVita Hospital Services, and he will continue in that role in the interim, while also serving as CMO for DaVita Kidney Care. In addition to leading the group of medical directors, he plays an active role in improving physician experience.

Dr. Giullian relies on his past experiences in private practice and hospital leadership to advocate for physicians and medical directors. In particular, he is active with the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) as a member of the Board of Directors, chairman of the Healthcare Payment Committee and member of the RPA’s team of advisors to the American Medical Association Relative Value Units Utilization Committee. Dr. Giullian trained in nephrology and transplantation at Vanderbilt University and received his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Champion of value-based and innovative care

With his tenure as CMO for DaVita Hospital Services and his business background, Dr. Giullian is well aware of the costs associated with patients “crashing” into dialysis and the need for more value-based care in nephrology.

For instance, of the 510,000 patients on dialysis today in the United States, nearly 265,000 (or about 50%) started their treatment in the hospital, resulting in an additional $14 billion in higher costs over four years attributable to unplanned dialysis starts. Moving away from fee-for-service reimbursement toward value-based payments and aligning providers around holistic care for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end stage kidney disease (ESKD) may help avoid some of these unnecessary costs, potentially saving Medicare millions while improving patients’ health and quality of life.

With Dr. Giullian as our clinical leader, DaVita plans to continue to build its integrated kidney care (IKC) capabilities and develop partnerships with physicians, health plans and health systems; with the help of his leadership, our IKC and other DaVita programs will continue to work to achieve the Quadruple Aim of improving patient experience, population health, and clinician engagement or satisfaction while reducing the total cost of care. As DaVita’s CMO, Dr. Giullian is also committed to working with physicians and innovating care for patients with CKD, to help slow the decline of kidney function and, for those patients who progress to ESKD, to increase the rate of kidney transplants.

Many of you are likely familiar with Dr. Giullian and his work to support value-based care, innovation and the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative. He has been a great contributor to DaVita Medical Insights; see the posts he authored on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Models, Part I: Overview and What This Could Mean for Providers, as well as The Importance of Education for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. We look forward to more of his blog posts and podcasts in 2020 and beyond.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Giullian in his new role!

Managing Editor