With 30 years of experience in clinical medicine and health care management Dr. Ambres has influenced all aspects of the health care industry, including hospital, payer and medical group management.
Dr. Ambres is a partner in the Health Care Strategy Practice of KPMG and is a member of the Global Healthcare Center of Excellence. She has lead the National Provider Healthcare Advisory Practice and is Healthcare lead of the Strategy Group. Her focus is in on care delivery system re-design, pre-merger evaluation, post-merger integration, telehealth and telemedicine, patient centricity and physician alignment.
Formerly, Dr. Ambres served as SVP and Chief Medical Officer for HealthNow, NY, in a return engagement to the parent company of BCBS of WNY and NENY. In this role she was responsible for health care reform strategy and provider and community outreach and communication. She also led the adoption of online care and the company's payment reform and physician network integration and contracting strategy.
Within her own company, Ambres Healthcare Consulting, she facilitated merger discussions between two multi-billion dollar health plans in New York; led leadership and organizational assessments resulting in restructuring for health plans and hospitals; and increased physician productivity, significantly impacting organizations bottom lines while concurrently increasing patient satisfaction.
After residency Dr. Ambres joined Beth Israel Medical Center as an emergency medicine attending physician. She became associate chairman after 18 months and chairman of the department of emergency services in 1994. Under her leadership Beth Israel’s Emergency Services expanded its residency program, grew its physician assistant program and implemented lean thinking and coordination of care pilots with other major clinical departments.
Later as senior manager in the Ernst & Young health care practice she gained a reputation for attracting new business and for developing sustainable operational improvements while aligning physician-hospital incentives.
As senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York she led the pharmacy services management division, driving savings of over $26 million in two years. She led IT clinical integration, designed a new alternative medicine product, and developed a regional cardiac surgery evaluation program that resulted in elevating the standard of care available for over two million people.
Dr. Ambres was the executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaleida Health - a five-hospital integrated delivery system - in Western New York with a budget of over $1 billion and 11,000 employees. Working closely with the chief financial officer she led the turn-around that eliminated the operating losses and brought the system to profitability in three years. During this process she implemented a physician practice improvement initiative that brought savings of $35 million and developed a med/surg supply reduction plan that reduced annual expenses by $16 million. She was proud to bring the VISICU program to Kaleida, making it one of the first centers in the nation to adopt this system. The virtual ICU improved the care of the critically ill patient while dropping length of stay by 1.5 days.
In addition, as president of Lifetime Health Medical Group and senior strategy executive at the Lifetime Healthcare Companies (parent of Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield), Dr. Ambres led the transition from a capitation/salary model to an value-based incentive compensation model while incorporating innovations in group visits, an electronic health record, advanced access, Medical Home and alternative medicine. Within two years, patient satisfaction scores increased by 27% and improved physician productivity resulted in an increase in revenues in eight of the eleven health centers.
Education and Background:
Dr. Ambres holds a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She went on to train at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in surgery and at a joint program in emergency medicine at Georgetown/George Washington/Maryland Institute of Emergency Services. She also holds a masters of science in health policy and management from NYU Wagner School of Public Service and a certification in Acupuncture from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (Helms Institute). With a focus on a philosophy of mind-body wellness Dr. Ambres has taken that concept beyond the individual into the corporation. This fosters a patient and wellness-centric enthusiasm that encourages health care professionals to see their work as a gift. In this way she has had a lasting impact on organizations.