For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD – Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., has named Robert Steiner, M.D. as Medical Director.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Dr. Robert Steiner’s caliber join us as part of Health Management Services,” said Chief Medical Officer Eric Quivers, M.D.
“His training and experience in the field of medical genetics is of great value. He has worked in academia, research and clinical practice. Most recently, he has served as the Chief Medical Officer for Acer Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company, and had oversight of the development of treatments for metabolic disorders. The use of genetic testing is a rapidly growing area in medicine. Its use has expanded beyond testing for inheritable conditions, which remains important, into areas such as the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Dr. Steiner’s expertise in the field of medical genetics will help guide us at Security Health Plan as we seek to develop a well-thought-out approach to this rapidly expanding area in medicine. I see this as a huge positive for our members and the Marshfield Clinic Health System,” said Quivers.
Dr. Steiner is an alumnus of Nicolet High School in Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Wisconsin – Madison Medical School. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center/University of Cincinnati, and his fellowship in Medical Genetics at the University of Washington. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and been awarded more than $15 million in research grants to date. His past positions include Executive Director of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Chief Science Officer of the Marshfield Clinic and Chief Medical Officer of Acer Therapeutics.
Dr. Steiner will assist Security Health Plan in the development of genetic testing policies and with complex genetic testing prior authorization determinations.
“Genetic tests are often complex and not inexpensive tests – and it can be challenging to decide when they are medically necessary. But genetic tests play more and more of a role in clinical medicine these days; they are important for understanding patients’ health status in certain situations, and can be the first step to diagnosing them and managing potential genetic disease. Testing comes first, then treatment,” said Steiner.
“I have a real appreciation for the stresses felt by insurance companies as they try to balance quality patient care with efficient patient care,” said Steiner. “I hope to help Security Health Plan find this balance, especially as medicine moves toward the day when all patients will have some kind of genetic testing. We do know unnecessary testing can introduce unnecessary discomfort and risk, and takes up valuable patient and medical staff time,” Steiner explained.
While Steiner thinks of himself first as a scientist, he has decades of experience in various aspects of clinical patient care – from delivering care himself, to the administrative work involved, the research behind the care and the pharmacologic treatments many patients receive.
“My goal is to use my broad experience to benefit patients and Security Health Plan members. I want to improve our relationship with clinicians by ensuring we build policies that help them practice medicine and serve their patients well. We don’t want unnecessary hurdles or frustrations for providers, but we do want to help them practice efficiently. Efficient medicine benefits the patients undergoing testing and all members who help fund it with their premiums,” said Steiner.
“I’m always looking for a new challenge,” said Steiner, “and anticipate tackling many with the Security Health Plan team.”