Rodney L. Whitlock, Ph.D
Vice President, McDermott+Consulting
Focus Area: Healthcare Policy
Years at M+: 1.5 years
What is your favorite part about your health policy work at McDermott+Consulting?
Healthcare policy, politics and process is complicated. It is a constant challenge to discern and anticipate the future of healthcare policy for clients. It is the constant intellectual challenge of operating in healthcare policy that I enjoy most about what I do. Specifically, I like that I can bring my 21 years of experience in Congress to my clients, move from subject matter to subject matter and play at a high level. For example, I can go from talking about prescription drugs in the morning then later on in the day dealing with an issue very specific to a client. It’s the challenge of having to be in different spaces at different times of the day that I actually enjoy.
What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
The current global pandemic has significantly impacted healthcare. All of the pressures on pricing and value that existed before the pandemic are now accentuated by the response to the crisis. The recovery from the loss of revenue experienced by providers throughout the year 2020 will be felt for a long time to come. The way practices have changed to accommodate the pandemic will also impact the provision of healthcare services and how they are reimbursed for a long time to come. Navigating clients into the future is going to be a challenge like no other before because we have not seen a global pandemic in a century.
What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?
To quote former President George W. Bush, “Strategery.” I most enjoy being presented with complex policy, political and process problems and finding solutions. It is the opportunity to put my 25 years of experience, honed in Congress and universities, to work for clients that most inspires me. Given the consequences of every decision in the midst of a global pandemic, it matters more than any other time in my career.
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
I do a job and I take pride in doing it well. The reputation and brand I have built is what I most appreciate in what I do. Building this personal brand allows me to share knowledge with clients through my work, podcast and in academia.
What is your favorite decoration in your office?
My remote office is not quite the professional workspace I’m used to. I share my space with Hershey, our family’s pet rabbit. Being able to disconnect long enough to rub his ears and give him a treat is something I will miss when I am back in my office.