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November 30, 2021
David W. Johnson
Economics Innovation System Dynamics
Interviews Podcasts


Having earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, I’ve always enjoyed the following riddle:

Question: What is an English major good for?

Answer: Wait and see!

The beauty of a liberal arts education is that the reasoning and communication skills it develops are broadly applicable in all professions. 

In his role as Amedisys’ Chairman and CEO, Paul Kusserow relies upon his rigorous training in theology (Wesleyan) and literature (Oxford) to guide his approach to strategy, management and corporate governance. After completing his Rhodes Scholarship thesis on T. S. Eliot’s poetry (no small feat), Paul embarked on remarkable career journey that has included stints as Chief Strategy Officer at Tenet and Humana before becoming Amedisys’ CEO in December 2014. 

I interviewed Paul on October 21st during for a keynote session at the Cain Brothers 2021 Healthcare Conference. Cain Brothers released the interview as a special episode of its House Calls podcast. You can listen to the interview here on our website or on the streaming services, and I strongly encourage you to do so. Where else will you hear literary and biblical references applied to healthcare market positioning and strategy?

Paul and I are old friends. We overlapped for a brief period at a boutique investment bank in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Paul was trying to raise a healthcare investment fund. I was trying to create a new type of healthcare investment banking practice based on deep industry expertise, transparency, execution excellence and content creation.

Paul spent significant time in the Middle East trying to raise capital for his fund. This necessitated drinking copious amounts of green tea, which he grew to love. For better or worse, he passed this habit on to me. 

Our initiatives had promise but were too early. Like many entrepreneurs before us, we took our lumps, learned some lessons and moved on to other ventures. When Paul took its helm, Amedisys was struggling. Its stock had fallen to $11 a share, and the company had just paid a large government fine. Amedisys needed new direction and energy. It received that in abundance.

Under Paul’s leadership, Amedisys has become an industry leader in hospice and home care. The reconfigured company has experienced stratospheric increases in revenues, profits and market capitalization. Its August 2021 acquisition of Contessa makes Amedisys a major player in the dynamic hospital-at-home marketplace. Tapping the previously unrealized potential of Amedisys’ large workforce has been the key ingredient fueling company growth.

During our interview, Paul discusses his academic and professional background, Amedisys’ meteoric rise under his leadership, current industry dynamics and the evolving healthcare marketplace. He does this with grace, humanity, humor and penetrating insight. His is a tour-de-force performance that the 4sight Health audience won’t want to miss.

Cain Brothers President Rob Fraiman introduces my interview with Paul. Like Paul and me, Rob benefited from a strong liberal arts education (history) that has served him well throughout his professional career. 

Under Rob’s leadership, Cain Brothers has developed the type of healthcare investment banking platform I once envisioned: broad coverage of for-profit and non-profit sectors; deeply expert; content rich and fully engaged in healthcare’s dynamic and disruptive marketplace.

Don’t delay another second. Listen to this unique and riveting interview on the 4sight Health website here, after which, you’ll be able to identify the writer who observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Paul Kusserow is not among them.


Listen to the interview on these streaming services: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts

About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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