Rod Baird, President, Gehrimed



Since 1977, Rod has led provider and management organizations that deliver care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including community-controlled nonprofits, professional and trade associations, and for-profit networks. He also was chosen to be a part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Advisors Program. He received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from American University.





  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word innovation?

Heightened wariness. Most things/ideas marketed today as innovations actually add burden to my day (i.e., empowering me to manage something that was previously done by someone else – like self-service brokerage/banking). It’s now possible to spend most of one’s time interacting with all these new choices without accomplishing as much as in the past.

  1. Do you have an innovation role model and why?

Satoshi Nakamoto – the alias for the founder/inventor of Cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin). Let’s ignore the speculative bubble and examine the underlying genius. Ten years ago, the anonymous author(s) posted the Bitcoin manifesto to an obscure cryptography listserv. A few months later, code for software appeared – and the result was a totally crowd-sourced, self-perpetuating, centerless ecosystem. Cryptocurrency is a popular distraction; the real genius is the underlying Blockchain.

  1. How do you try and instill a culture of innovation around you?

When you have a truly innovative idea it’s time to start a new company.

  1. Is there a particular innovation that has made your professional life easier? Any special non-health care innovation you use at home?

Social networking has made my professional life easier. At home it’s high-tech materials that improve/extend human performance (carbon fiber, GOTE-TEX and synthetic fibers, titanium, Kevlar, etc.). The older I get, the more play hurts; great gear is the best analgesic.

  1. What excites you most about the AMDA Innovations Platform Advisory Council?

In the states, caring for our frail elderly is bankrupting the future – the only humane solution is better care management. There are too few well-trained professionals for the task ahead – any innovation we can create or promote that extends/expands this scarce resource will payback for years to come. We have to leverage the population-specific knowledge our members represent beyond their face-to-face care.