Michael Steinkrauss, MBA, COA

Associate Director of Transformation
Michael Steinkrauss

What is your role in SNE-PTN?

Associate Director of Transformation

Why should optometrists participate in practice improvement and the movement toward the medical home model?

Optometrists have a unique opportunity during this period of change. How practices choose to capitalize on this opportunity can have a significant long-term impact on both individual practices and the profession as a whole. While many practitioners will not be eligible for MIPS (Merit-based payment system) at first; it is essential to take this time to develop the necessary skills to succeed in a value- or risk-based payment environment.

Care delivery is trending strongly towards collaborative models. The opportunity is here to demonstrate the high value care optometry provides to all stakeholders. The time is now to establish the profession as an essential part of the care team as the first line of eye care providers who deliver, “the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”

What is your previous experience in quality improvement?

Before coming to UMass Medical School and SNE-PTN, I spent five years at a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO), where LEAN quality improvement was integrated into every facet of our care. I experienced first-hand the value that integrating quality improvement methodologies delivered for the patients as well as the clinic. I took quickly to the opportunity to institute measurable change and worked with my team to develop and implement a patient pull system where we successfully reduced patient time in office by over half an hour in most cases.

How did you get into the healthcare field?

I fell into the clinical care environment. I had applied to a large private eye care provider in Boston at the behest of a colleague, and during the interview process I was offered the choice of an administrative position or a clinical one. I chose clinical with no previous experience, and quickly gained the skills and knowledge to become a team leader and later a manager. I then returned to school while working at the ACO and obtained a master’s degree in healthcare administration.

What is one inspiring aspect of being part of SNE-PTN?

I would have to say that the most inspiring aspect of SNE-PTN is our ability to indirectly impact patient’s lives. We aim to prepare practices for metric-driven merit-based healthcare with the ultimate aim of improving healthcare for all.