Dentzer named ‘Health Affairs’ editor

You heard it here first, only because I happen to be up way too late on a Friday evening, working on a huge project due in just over two weeks: Susan Dentzer, chief health correspondent for the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” is the new editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, effective May 1.

You heard it here first because the folks at Project HOPE decided to send out the press release well after hours, just as it did a couple of weeks ago when the previous editor, Jamie Robinson, decided to leave after just a few months on the job.

Robinson is returning to his previous job as Kaiser Permanente Distinguished Professor of Health Economics at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He took over at Health Affairs last September, when founding editor John Iglehart retired.

Perhaps I should have taken the hint when Dentzer emceed the Health Affairs 25th anniversary summit last November. Or not. The only other time I had met her was at the 2007 AHIP Institute, when I mistook her for AHIP boss Karen Ignani. I do know that she knows the business, and she was gracious enough to take my call last year and chat for a few minutes, even after telling me that “NewsHour” didn’t have a freelance budget.

According to Health Affairs:

“Dentzer also serves on the Kaiser Commission on the Future of Medicaid and the Uninsured, and she is a member of the national advisory committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research. From 1993 to 2004, Dentzer was a member of the board of trustees for her alma mater, Dartmouth College, and she chaired the board from 2001 through 2004. As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1986 and 1987, Dentzer studied political economy, health economics, and business at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the Harvard School of Public Health.”

That’s quite a CV.

This might be my last post for a while, since my Doctor’s Digest tome, all 30,000 words of it, is due April 14. I may or may not hit the World Health Care Congress in Washington April 21-23, before going on a much-needed vacation on April 26, and I may or may not blog again before then.