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 Susan  Dentzer Image

Susan Dentzer

Top Health Journalist and Expert; Editor-in-Chief, Health Affairs; Health Analyst, PBS NewsHour; Member, Institute of Medicine; Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Travels From:
District Of Columbia
Fee Range:
$10,000 - $15,000

One of the nation’s most respected health and health policy journalists, Susan Dentzer is also a frequent guest and commentator on such National Public Radio shows as This American Life and The Diane Rehm Show. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations.

A former contributing editor of US News & World Report and senior economic reporter for Newsweek, Susan Dentzer has covered a wide range of issues from international relations to economic reform. As an experienced keynote speaker, Dentzer brings her audiences a perspective from Capitol Hill, and how policy can and will affect the future of healthcare, Social Security and Medicare. Dentzer also speaks authoritatively on both foreign relations and domestic policy concerns.

Featured Videos

Susan Dentzer: Care Transitions

Speaker Resources

  •  Susan  Dentzer


Susan Dentzer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of America’s Physician Groups, the organization of more than 335 physician practices that provide patient-centered, coordinated, and integrated care for patients while being accountable for cost and quality. APG members provide care to nearly 90 million patients nationwide.

Dentzer is a highly respected health and health policy thought leaders and a frequent speaker and commentator and an author of commentaries and analyses in print publications such as Modern Healthcare, NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine)-Catalyst, and the Annals of Internal Medicine. She was also the editor and lead author of the book Health Care Without Walls: A Roadmap for Reinventing U.S. Health Care.

From 2019 to February 2022, Dentzer was Senior Policy Fellow for the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. She has also served as senior policy adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; editor-in-chief of the policy journal Health Affairs; and on-air health correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. Dentzer wrote and hosted the 2015 PBS documentary, Reinventing American Healthcare, focusing on the innovations pioneered by the Geisinger Health System and spread to health systems across the nation.

Dentzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine); an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a fellow of the National Academy of Social Insurance; and a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute. She is the chair of the Board of Directors of Research!America, which advocates on behalf of biomedical and health-related research and innovation, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, a leading global humanitarian organization. She is a member of the Boards of Advisors for RAND Health and for the Philip R. Lee Institute of Health Policy Studies at the University of California-San Francisco. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1986-87.

Speech Topics

“With the 2020 national elections approaching, Democratic candidates are proposing a range of health reforms aimed at providing universal health insurance coverage. Some would build on and extend the reforms inherent in the Affordable Care Act; others would go further to create a

single-payer system and abolish private health insurance. There are also a variety of

competing reforms in between. In her presentation, Dentzer can describe the origins of “Medicare for All” in longstanding calls for national health insurance; delineate the specific “Medicare for All” and related proposals; discuss the implications for hospitals, health systems, insurers, and individuals; and weigh the political prospects of all of these reforms. She can also provide an update on Trump administration initiatives, and on litigation over the Affordable Care Act that could affect the political and health reform landscapes.

“Imagine a health care system that came to you — a system that met you, as an individual, where you are, in your home, workplace, or community, in part through such ‘virtual care’ modalities as telehealth. Such a system would anticipate your needs and work to keep you as healthy as possible, and view any of your needs to access “sick care” as a possible sign that the system had let you down. This system would address the upstream drivers of your health

status, and yet be as convenient and accessible as other elements of your life that you now take for granted, like ordering online. Such a system could be called ‘Health Care Without Walls.’

Susan Dentzer can describe current trends and examples moving us toward the vision of Health Care Without Walls, and the public policy changes and private sector measures also necessary to achieve it. Although there will be many benefits in achieving a far more distributed system of care outside of conventional institutional settings, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, and nursing homes, a number of payment/reimbursement, regulatory, work

force, and human factors issues must be addressed before such a system can be

realized. Dentzer can describe the need for a “21st Century Hill Burton” program to assist many of the nation’s hospitals in transforming into new roles. In particular, Dentzer can discuss the many implications for the nation’s health care work force; education and training of health care

professionals; and in particular, inter professional education and training to deliver the team based, virtually enabled care that will increasingly be the norm. She can offer examples of organizations that are engaging in such efforts, and describe the opportunities that may emerge for research and other partnerships to advance the field.

When it comes to the population’s health, the United States is a divided country. Life

expectancy, once on a steady march upwards for most Americans, continues to rise for some, but is now falling overall. Even as well educated, upper-income Americans are living longer, hundreds of thousands of others are experiencing “deaths of despair” that result from chronic disease, mental and behavioral conditions, suicide, and substance abuse — and that may have its roots in economic decline. How can the nation improve the health of its population and address the health crises afflicting so many? Susan Dentzer will discuss the issues and options available.