“Tim brings calm and indispensable insight to the role of a new medical specialty- palliative care- an added layer of crucial support for improving the quality of life of people with serious illness and for those who love and care for them. His pioneering vision and leadership helped establish the importance of attention to the patient’s inner life and experience both during and after treatment. The outcomes of palliative care- a happier and longer life despite illness- is a too-well kept secret. Learn about what’s in it for you, when to demand it, and how to find it, from the master.”Diane E. Meier, MD
Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care
About Dr. Tim Ihrig
Timothy Ihrig, M.D. practices palliative medicine caring for the most vulnerable and sickest people and helps other providers improve the quality and value of the care they provide this population. He has unparalleled success in transforming the culture of medicine and has authored a text supporting this effort. His work proves true patient-centered care improves the quality of individuals live’s, can increase how long they live, and has signifiant economic benefits to patients, healthcare systems and the United States economy.
Dr. Ihrig is the CEO of Ihrig MD & Associates located in the Central United States. His fluency combines clinical and administrative experience to system design around population health management, care coordination and delivery for the most vulnerable population. He possess an understanding of risk as applied to healthcare contractual entities, micro- and macro- healthcare economics, population health, regulatory compliance from a system perspective and the interaction of all three. Dr. Ihrig combines a visionary approach to care delivery through a unique philosophical perspective modeled into methodology which can be strategically implemented into any healthcare system to meet the needs of patients, systems and payers. Focusing on incorporating clinical practice paralleling strategic development, implementation and growth of palliative care models upstream of current delivery paradigms, administrative responsibility of coordinating care across the healthcare continuum congruent with system vision, financial contracts and needs of the community.
Dr. Ihrig is nationally recognized for his expertise and success with across the continuum population health and community based palliative care program development and innovation. He holds appointments as content expert to the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC) which unites unparalleled experience, policy expertise, and vision creating an unmatched repository of knowledge, resources, and industry-leading insight for healthcare innovation and is co-chaired by former HHS Secretary and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and former CMS Administrator and FDA Commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan.
National Public Radio’s, “All Things Considered” featured Dr. Ihrig in a story on the development and transformative nature of his philosophy of care and he is endorsed by the Center for Advancement of Palliative Care as a national level clinician-educator. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative – a premiere think-tank for strategies in health care quality, safety and value for the state of Iowa. He also serves as an Iowa Alternate-Delegate to the American Medical Association. As part of his efforts to promote palliative care he presented at TEDx Des Moines: “Palliative Care: A New Voice in Health Care for People to Find Their Own” ™ which can be found at http://youtu.be/BI-CnsKyOuk.
Dr. Ihrig’s efforts were seminal in Unity Point Heath being granted the 2013 Circle of Life Award by the American Hospital Association. One of nine institutions that year across the country to receive this prestigious award, it recognizes innovative programs in palliative and end-of-life care. Dr. Ihrig’s program was among national leaders in integrating palliative care across the healthcare continuum and the development and implementation of innovative mechanisms for managing this most vulnerable population.
He has been an Expert Source for Palliative Care Development in an Accountable Care Organization in a Rural Community for the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., and was the sole practicing physician assisting the Iowa General Assembly in raising minimum standard requirements for Iowa physicians with respect to end-of-life care and oversight of use of prescriptive narcotics. He also acted as an expert clinician in support of Iowa Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment bill. He also holds appointments as Clinical Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine and acts as Palliative Care clinical instructor. He is on the board of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa, is the former chair of the Advocacy Committee and sits on the Palliative Care Advisory Committee.
Previously, Dr. Ihrig was Medical Director of Palliative Care at the Trinity Regional Medical Center within the Unity Point Heath System. Trinity Regional was one of thirty-two Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations through the Center for Medicaire and Medicaid Innovation. He was a member of the Board of Managers of Unity Point Health Accountable Care Organization and the Unity Point Health Regional Organized System of Care Committee. While practicing there, the family of a patient he cared for donated five-million dollars to promote and expand the Palliative Care program.
Dr. Ihrig attained a degree in medicine from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and a Masters degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa, Des Moines and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Other interests of Dr. Ihrig include sexuality at the end of life and Global Health. He served as the former Medical Chair of the Health Services Committee for Empower Tanzania Incorporated whose mission is the development of sustainable healthcare solutions in sub-Saharan Africa for individuals suffering with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-limited illnesses.