Gregory A. Adams, Executive Vice President, Group President and Regional President of Northern California, Kaiser Permanente

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Session recap

With the US in the middle of reforming how health care is delivered, repealing the Affordable Care Act would be a mistake, according to Gregory A. Adams, Executive Vice President, Group President and Regional President of Northern California, Kaiser Permanente.

With an uproar over website glitches and concern over plan cancellations the talk of the media, Adams spoke and just hours before the House passed a bipartisan vote calling for legislative changes. He noted that people need to keep the big picture in perspective: 30 million people who did not previously have health care coverage will have it under the Act, and those with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.

In fact, trying to remedy the problems caused by the website glitches by extending discontinued health plans could undermine the program’s long-term goals, he said. Allowing people to keep their original plans might mean that only high-risk people would enroll in the exchanges, compromising insurance providers’ original rates, which were based on a more diverse risk pool.

At the same time, Adams noted, the US health care market is undergoing a dramatic transformation that ultimately will lower the overall cost of health care. Health care costs currently account for 19% of US GDP. Premiums for a family of four currently average $16,000, he said, of which they pay $4,500 (just over 25%) out of pocket before incurring any expenses.

Adams said that moving away from episodic care toward a model that emphasizes value, preventive care and new forms of delivery will help bring down overall costs and improve quality outcomes. The Act may need some tweaking, but its overall goals should remain in place.

Watch the session below.


Gregory A. Adams, Kaiser Permanente


Keynote speaker
Gregory A. Adams at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Gregory A. Adams
Executive Vice President, Group President and Regional President of Northern California
Kaiser Permanente

Gregory A. Adams is executive vice president and one of three Kaiser Permanente group presidents reporting to the CEO. He has direct responsibility for Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Region, serving more than 3.4 million members and operating 21 hospitals and 67 medical office facilities. In addition, he is responsible for the successful performance of the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Region (Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia) and leads the organization's national Medicare care delivery strategy.

Adams was appointed president of the Northern California Region for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc. in April 2008. In January 2012, Adams was named Group President, assuming additional responsibility for the Mid-Atlantic Region and various national initiatives. In July 2013, Adams was appointed executive vice president. In addition to his regional president and group president responsibilities, he serves on the organization's National Executive Team.

Adams has more than 25 years of leadership experience as a senior health care executive and strategic consultant. He started his career with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California in 1999 and has held a number of executive leadership positions within the organization. In the Southern California Region, he served as senior vice president and service area manager of the Tri-Central area and chief operating officer for the region. In 2007 he moved to Northern California, where he was associate regional president and chief operating officer before being named president.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Adams held several executive roles in the health care industry, providing strategic and operational leadership for hospitals, health systems and medical groups throughout the country. He was senior vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Catholic Healthcare West in Southern California; president and CEO of St. Bernadine Medical Center in San Bernardino, California; chief operating officer for Baptist Healthcare System of Southeast Texas; and director of Critical Care Services for the Mayo Clinic’s St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn. He also owned a health care firm that provided strategic and operational improvement consulting for health care organizations.

Adams serves on the executive committee of the California Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees, is an at-large delegate and member of the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board 9, and a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Council and Oakland Dialogue, and is on the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

Adams has a bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and a master’s degree in nursing administration from Wichita State University.

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Alan Murray
Pew Research Center

Alan Murray is the President of the Pew Research Center. He leads in setting the strategic direction of Pew Research, in consultation with Pew Research leadership, its board and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Murray was previously Deputy Managing Editor and Executive Editor, Online, for The Wall Street Journal. He previously served as CNBC’s Washington, DC, Bureau Chief and was Co-host of Capital Report with Alan Murray and Gloria Borger. While working at CNBC, he also wrote the Journal’s weekly Political Capital column. Prior to that, he spent a decade as the Washington bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. Murray received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.