This Week Health

Bill Russell

CEO and Founder

The 229 Project

Bill Russell is currently known for his influential role as the CEO and Founder of Health Lyrics and as the Founder & Host of the "This Week in Health IT" podcast. In his role at Health Lyrics, he leverages his extensive experience in healthcare IT to provide executive coaching and advisory services to healthcare leaders, startups, and investors. His podcast, "This Week in Health IT," is a platform where he shares his insights and experiences, and engages with other leaders and innovators in the healthcare industry. The podcast is well-regarded for its insightful discussions on various aspects of health IT, including emerging technologies, policy, and industry trends​.

Russell is also involved in the 229 Project, an initiative that highlights his commitment to healthcare IT innovation and leadership. This project represents his ongoing efforts to bring transformative ideas and practices to the forefront of healthcare technology. The 229 Project showcases his forward-thinking approach and dedication to improving healthcare through technology and leadership​.

Before these current endeavors, Russell had a significant tenure as the Chief Information Officer for St. Joseph Health, a 16-hospital system valued at $6.5 billion. During his time at St. Joseph Health, he played a pivotal role in accelerating the adoption of new IT strategies and methodologies, such as cloud technology and agile development. His career also spans roles in various industries, including telecommunications, banking, engineering, and manufacturing, where he gained substantial experience and expertise in IT, particularly in cloud consulting. This diverse background has equipped him with a unique perspective and skill set that he brings to his current roles​.




The Future of Healthcare is shaped by technology but moves at the pace of policy, incentives and culture.
The healthcare sector only gets part-time attention from CEOs at big tech firms. We're hearing that the health initiatives are scattered across the organization so they lack focus. They lack a cohesive enterprise strategy around healthcare.
The theme in 2018 and 2019 was to establish market essentiality. Get bigger. Get to scale. There's this belief that if we get to scale we're going to be able to do things that other health systems can’t do. And we're going to be able to weather the storms. And that did play out during the pandemic.
When I came into healthcare as a CIO, I had to sit down for eight hours straight with some of the smartest people in the room just to understand pricing. I realized there’s no way the average American can understand pricing and what they're getting themselves into when they walk into the hospital. I still believe that's true today. But I also believe it's a problem we can and should be able to solve.
One of the problems in healthcare is elasticity of demand. We learned this in economics. When you increase pricing demand goes down and when you decrease pricing demand goes up. The reality in healthcare is that there is no elasticity. You can raise the price forever but we're still going to that hospital. You can lower the price and it's not going to increase. So it doesn't respond to normal market demands.
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