Deirdre Baggot

Be willing to tell it like it is even if it means you don’t get the work.


Deirdre Baggot, PhD, MBA, BSN, has extensive experience as a hospital executive and clinician. She is a pioneer for bundled payments due to her leadership for the CMS ACE or Acute Care Episode. Deirdre was also responsible for the growth and leadership of consulting practices with a focus on innovations in payment reform and bundled payments for two advisory firms in the healthcare field.

Deirdre Baggot has developed client relationships, designed, and implemented programs and strategies for 200 hospitals and sixty bundles. This has led to an improvement in the patient experience and clinical outcomes, at a decreased cost. As a result, physicians and hospitals both shared in the savings. Deirdre also acts as an advisor to several senior leadership and health system boards. She also works as an expert on bundled payments and MACRA for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services.

Ms. Baggot has received national recognition in the medical field for her groundbreaking work on bundled payments. Deirdre has also been invited to be the keynote speaker for a number of medical conferences. These include the American Heart Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Financial Management Association, Innovation Summit, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Bundled Payment Summit, SAS, Medtronic, Pay-for-Performance Summit and Bundled Payment Congress.

Deirdre Baggot has written an excess of twenty papers on the subject of bundled payments, payment transformation, and healthcare reform. She has been a featured expert on Planet Money, All Things Considered, and the Morning Edition of National Public Radio. CMS appointed her as an expert reviewer in 2012 for Bundled Payments Models two through four. She led CMS’s Bundled Payment Demonstration for the Acute Care Episode. She also served in leadership roles for ten years at The University of Michigan Health System and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in academic healthcare.

Ms. Baggot attended the University of Colorado where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree. She attended Chicago’s Loyola University Graduate School of Business and was awarded her Business Administration Master’s degree. She also holds a Nursing Bachelor of Science and is a Gregory LaVert Scholar.

What is one idea that you have brought to life? Where did the idea come from?

The Checklist.

Taking care of a patient who is really sick can leave one feeling incredibly helpless. In 1998, as a new nurse working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, when I had a patient that was sick, and I wasn’t sure why, I found myself “doing things” getting more tests, more labs, more diagnostics in an effort to figure out what was wrong with my patient. Every single time, I saw the same behavior. I was not yet comfortable with making decisions based on partial information. I think I was also struggling with the other reality, which was that so much of what we did then and now isn’t supported in literature. So, in an effort to prevent myself from “doing more,” I came up with a checklist of sorts for each type of patient we say and really tried hard to follow that checklist. Today in America we have advanced that thinking and use very sophisticated “care protocols” which, when done well, improve the quality of care and reduce over-testing and treating.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I must admit I have spent the better part of the last fifteen years going from one meeting or conference call to the next. I try hard to not allow myself to rot away in useless meetings, but sometimes it does still occur. Saying no to meetings and calls in which I am not truly needed helps. Checklists. Prioritizing my work. Self-imposed deadlines. I put a date or deadline on everything. I like checking stuff off my list. Sometimes I write something down that I have already done just so that I can feel good checking it off my to-do list. Ha.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life by first reading and researching the idea. Next, I usually write about the idea, and then I bring the idea to a team of smart people who can guide and advance my thinking.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Wearables. I am obsessed with anything that will activate patients as healthcare consumers. Medical errors represent the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Two million people will die this year of hospital-acquired infections. We need empowered consumers who are engaged and accountable for their healthcare in order for healthcare to get safer in America.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am passionate about healthcare, so I only spend my time there. I try not to dabble. For sure that may make me more boring, but it also prevents me from wasting time on something that I likely won’t be very good at.

What advice would you give your younger self?


Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Dating is a waste of time in high school 100%. Maybe even in college too.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be the hardest working person in the room. Always.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Be willing to tell it like it is even if it means you don’t get the work.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Over committing to a deadline and then not being able to meet it. Today I don’t even have the conversation. I let the project manager determine timelines for deliverables.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Healthcare is very much in need of transformation, and it will only happen with private money. Look at education? The New Orleans floods became the impetus for massive transformation in that industry. Simple ideas that enable consumers to take better care of themselves are the antidote to a system of unreliable and expensive healthcare. 18% of our GDP is spent on healthcare – if you can’t find success in healthcare you probably aren’t that smart, but you have to be willing to solve a problem in order for your idea to stick. Healthcare is mostly manual and full of duplication and waste.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Best money spent recently was taking my daughter and her friends to a Taylor Swift concert. Any money spent building memories with my family is money well spent.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Anything that integrates multiple calendars. I like the Readdle calendar app as it integrates multiple calendars. The Quickbooks app is awesome for expenses.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte

What is your favorite quote?

“Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency “– Maya Angelou


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