No Change in Mission, But a Changing of the Guard


No Change in Mission, But a Changing of the Guard

This is my last memo: I am retiring after 17 years as editor. I’ve worked with too many people to be able to thank them individually, but for most of those years I have had Frank Diamond as my managing editor, and I couldn’t have edited this magazine without him.

And Frank will continue to be the managing editor as Peter Wehrwein takes over as editor. Peter, a Yale grad, was editor of Harvard Health Letter, a monthly general interest health newsletter published by Harvard Medical School, for a dozen years.

Peter’s connections to Managed Care and its readers go way back to the late 1990s, when he wrote articles for us on capitation, disease management, and managed care’s PR problems. He resumed writing for me about two years ago, and has lately been specializing in ACOs — he has been writing the new ACO Update column.

Like me, Peter spent his early career in newspapers. Although the economics of newspaper journalism have fallen apart, the outlook and values that we both learned in newsrooms have staying power: accuracy, balance, relevance, and, occasionally publishing a piece just because it’s fun.

I have tried to be scrupulously fair and impartial and not politically partisan, and, if anything, I have published more views contrary to my own than ones that are similar. This issue is an exception. Normally I do a major interview each month with a significant person in health care: chief medical officers at health plans, professors of economics and health care policy — many different voices and agendas. This month, however, senior contributing editor MargaretAnn Cross interviews me.

I would not be writing this if the publication’s founding publisher, Timothy J. Stezzi, and his business partner, Timothy P. Search, had not had continued faith in me. I salute them and all my colleagues. Farewell.