Smarter Care Connections

Episode 2: Dr. John Mafi and Dr. Howard Beckman


In this episode, Smarter Care Virginia lead evaluator, Dr. John Mafi speaks with SCV faculty member, Dr. Howard Beckman about the best communication strategies to utilize in order to influence clinicians to change their behavior around low-value health services.  

Our Guests:

John N. Mafi, MD, MPH is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where he also practices and teaches general medicine and primary care. He also serves as an Affiliated Natural Scientist in Health Policy at RAND Corporation. Dr. Mafi completed his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University and then went on to complete medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He then finished his internal medicine residency training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2012, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident in 2013-2014. Dr. Mafi completed the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in General Internal Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and earned his MPH at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2015.

Dr. Mafi’s research focuses on quality and value measurement and how electronic health records can improve the value of care among older adults. He has led several national analyses assessing the epidemiological trends and predictors of harmful or low value care, or patient care that provides no net benefit in specific clinical scenarios. He is currently leading several national studies and working to leverage electronic health records to measure and improve the value of healthcare delivery among older adults.


Howard Beckman, M.D., FACP, FAACH is Director of Strategic Innovation at Common Ground Health where he utilizes his experience in group and organizational facilitation and qualitative research. In this position, his work focuses on two communitywide quality and value collaboratives. One focuses on improving the management of high blood pressure communitywide by integrating best medical practices with community engagement. The second project is the reduction of preventable hospitalizations and ED visits.

Dr. Beckman’s administrative and research interests have led to a national focus on creating and promoting effective partnerships. He served as Clinical Director for the California Quality Collaborative’s Efficiency Collaborative and a consultant to such diverse groups as the American Board of Internal Medicine, AHRQ, the American Medical Association, California Healthcare Foundation, RAND, MHQP, Consumer Reports, Massachusetts BlueCross BlueShield, and the Massachusetts Medical Society. His work on partnership between physicians, medical groups and health plans, has been published in Health Affairs, the Annals of Internal Medicine, AJMC, AJMQ, and Healthcare Management and by the Commonwealth Fund.

Dr. Beckman is a clinical professor of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He has been a faculty member in Rochester since 1990. Prior to that he was an associate professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine where he attended medical school, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine.

Episode 1: Dr. Mark Fendrick

Highlights from Dr. Fendrick:

“What was really exciting to me and has proved to be a national leadership point, was how quickly the delivery systems came to VCHI and volunteered to participate in this program. This to me is a sentinel for the fact that those who are providing care see that these ongoing efficiencies driven by lots of irrationalities of payment and coverage, can actually be overcome to spend our dollars better.”

“[Smarter Care Virginia] is the most well thought out multi-stakeholder implementation of strategies to reduce low-value care that I could think of. What is impressive about VCHI is the immediacy that all the key stakeholders in healthcare across the Commonwealth, embraced this idea that there’s enough money being spent on healthcare in the commonwealth and we can spend more on the good stuff if we spend less on the bad stuff.”


In this episode, Smarter Care Virginia team member Steve Horan, PhD, CEO of Community Health Solutions, chats with Dr. Fendrick about the opportunities to realign healthcare spending around value during the COVID 19 pandemic and beyond.

Our Guest: A. Mark Fendrick MD

Dr. Fendrick conceptualized and coined the term Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID) and currently directs the V-BID Center at the University of Michigan, the leading advocate for development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative health benefit plans.  His research focuses on how clinician payment and consumer engagement initiatives impact access to care, quality of care, and health care costs.  Dr. Fendrick has authored over 250 articles and book chapters and has received numerous awards for the creation and implementation of value-based insurance design.  His perspective and understanding of clinical and economic issues have fostered collaborations with numerous government agencies, health plans, professional societies, and health care companies.

Dr. Fendrick is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly IOM), serves on the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee, and has been invited to present testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel.

Dr. Fendrick is the co-editor in chief of the American Journal of Managed Care and is an editorial board member for 3 additional peer-reviewed publications.  He is also a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, where he remains clinically active in the practice of general internal medicine.

Dr. Fendrick leads the National Low-Value Care Task Force and is a faculty member of Smarter Care Virginia.


Smarter Care Virginia

VBID Health

University of Michigan VBID Center