With a master’s degree in counseling psychology and 20+ years’ worth of “skinned knees and bloodied knuckles that come with driving change in healthcare,” Michael O’Neil’s experience and passion lie at the core of Healthcare Bluebook’s purpose: to protect patients by exposing the truth and empowering choice. While his official title is Senior Vice President (SVP) of Strategy and Development, Michael says his real job is Sheepdog and describes his role by sharing this analogy:
“In every walk of life, especially in healthcare, you have at least three types of people: You have the sheep—those who are vulnerable because they don’t have all the tools, visibility, and information they need to protect themselves (patients). You have the wolves who prey on the sheep by leveraging the advantages of their strength, size, position, and information (large status-quo payers and providers). And then you have Sheepdogs—those who intimately understand the world of the wolf but live to protect the sheep from the wolves.”
To that end, Michael and his team work closely with employers, providers, and patients to deliver outsized gains in healthcare savings, safety and service to plan sponsors and patients alike. Most recently, the strategy and development team rolled out Bluebook’s Value-Certified Program (VCP), a bundling and direct-contract solution that generates deep savings for plan sponsors and their members by identifying and directly negotiating lower prices with the highest-quality providers.
Before joining Bluebook, Michael was the Chief Executive Officer for Clinically Home, a physician group model focused on providing safe acute care allowing patients to remain in the safety and comfort of their own homes in the acute and post-acute stages of care.
In previous roles, Michael served as SVP for HealthSpring (later acquired by Cigna) where he led the strategy and development team to successfully create virtual, integrated delivery systems to improve patient outcomes; and prior, as a General Manager at Healthways with a focus on population health and behavior change.
Michael began his professional career writing and producing for television, print, and film. During this time, he co-produced The Emperor’s Club, a feature film released by Universal Pictures. Michael was also part of a three-person launch team for two start-up divisions at Cowles Enthusiast Media, a multimedia company.