Business Profile | Michael Kasper

February 2013 View more

Mike Kasper, CEO of DuPage Medical Group, for Naperville Magazin

You joined DuPage Medical Group (DMG) as CEO in 2010. What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?

There are two major accomplishments we’ve had as a group over the past two years that really stand out. First, was the formation of Illinois Health Partners (IHP) in May 2011 with Edward Hospital and Health Services. IHP takes care of almost 100,000 HMO patients and we are working on expanding our services to the nearly two million people that live in Naperville and the surrounding areas. This joint venture is unique in that it takes an integrated approach to treating patients in the Naperville area. DMG and Edward have come together, using the same medical record, which will lead to improved care and outcome for our patients. While improving care, IHP will also take out redundant administrative services. For example, DMG provides billing and managed care services to the Edward Medical Group. We will continue to collaborate to improve care for patients and take costs out of the system.

Most recently, in early December we opened our Lisle Medical Office Building. This project is important because it allows us to add to the services we already offer our patients. As an example, we will be now be able to provide comprehensive cancer care with state of the art equipment for radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging. More importantly, patients facing a cancer diagnosis, can be treated closer to home and have a unique integrated experience that begins with a patient or nurse navigator who will work with the patient and their family to make sure they understand all the care needed and can assist in making those appointments. Also, the patient will have access to a team of physicians all working together in one site to ensure the appropriate care is given. Finally, we have an affiliation with Rush University Medical Center, which brings highly specialized sub-specialty services to Lisle, rather than requiring a patient to have to travel into the city while they are dealing with a major illness and fatigue. We also opened our first immediate care center that is staffed by emergency room board certified physicians in the building and are averaging more than 30 patient visits per day.

Despite growing financial pressure facing the health care industry, the DMG continues to expand. What is the secret to your success? 

Our success starts with our structure. DMG is 100 percent physician owned and directed. Physician leadership is paramount to our success. Our founding physicians formed the group in 1999 with a commitment to deliver the best patient care in the community. As part of that vision we believe in creating the most autonomous environment for our physicians and they, in turn, create great innovation that leads to outstanding patient care. We never lose focus of who we are and why we exist, everyone at DMG knows we exist to provide the highest quality care, in the most efficient manner, to as many patients as possible during their time of need. Our core principles of Quality, Efficiency, and Access (QEA) guide every decision we make. Whether it is our Board of Directors, department leaders, or site chairs—physicians that are engaged and willing to lead—will define our continued success more than anything else. Physicians are heavily involved and part of all key decisions for the Group.

You have already made a significant impact in the health care industry during your young career. You were a CEO at the age of 30 and more recently, named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list.

I have always wanted to be in a position where I was able to help people. Health care was a natural fit for me. I was not blessed with healing hands, but taking on administrative and executive roles has allowed me to follow my passion for helping communities and to maximize my strengths in business and leadership. My sole focus is to be part of an organization that makes significant progress in fixing health care. I believe that doctors are key to the solution. The physicians I work with at DMG are some of the best. They are so passionate and committed to helping people, so it’s a great fit. We have a moral obligation to improve quality and make health care more affordable. I believe strongly that DMG and our partners are positioned to do just that, and it is exciting.

The recognition I received both from Crain’s and Modern Health Care is more of a reflection of what DMG is than who I am. There are very few independent physician organizations our size nationally, and as more physicians become employees at hospitals, DMG has become a safe harbor for physicians who want to have a strong say in how care is delivered. The DMG model is powerful because there are no bureaucratic barriers between patients and physicians. I am truly honored to have this position and feel a great sense of purpose at DMG.

You are active in several associations and community organizations, along with being a CEO. How do you keep a work-life balance?

The most important thing in my life is my family. My wife Nikki and our two beautiful children, Amelia and Cash, take up all of my time when I am not working. I certainly do have a hectic schedule that includes commitments on evenings and weekends, and my family is very supportive. One thing I learned early in my career, which helps keep me balanced, is that I never work while I’m at home. Unless there is an emergency, I focus on my family when we are together. We also travel together and take a couple of vacations a year. The days I do get to be home and have dinner with my family are very special for me