Marty Block, 62, of Scottsdale, Arizona passed away on October 28, 2013. Marty graduated from Northwestern University Medical School with a Doctor of Medicine degree. Marty completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1978. He began his private practice in Riverside, California, where he was active in the medical community.
Marty‘s dedication to medicine and the importance of quality patient care led him to become involved with administrative medicine early on in his career. As a medical executive for FHP, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, Schaller Anderson, Inspiris and United Healthcare, Marty wore many hats, starting as a medical director, leading to chief medical officer, and completing his career as a medical director and vice president of clinical services at United Healthcare-Optum.
He was continuously focused on quality of care, utilization, working with government programs as well as risk adjustment. Marty worked with passion. He was never satisfied, and endured long hours every day in order to improve processes and find a better way to do things. He received many awards throughout his career because of this dedication to his work and to healthcare in general. Among other credits in his career, Marty was awarded a Certified Professional Coder, which gave him critical insights into risk adjustment and the nexus with quality and outcomes management.
Marty spoke regularly at RISE conference events and engaged audiences, large and small, with his keen insights and understandings that he wanted to share with others that shared his passion for risk adjustment and quality. Just prior to his general session presentation to the RISE 2013 Summit, Marty passed out but revived and continued to make his presentation. Immediately afterwards, he allowed himself to be taken to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He left this world six-months later.
In recognition of his contributions to innovations in risk adjustment and in recognition of the excellence of his life work, the RISE Association, in response to the recommendations of Optum, the annual Martin L. Block Award for Excellence and Innovation was created. Marty Block was posthumously recognized with the first award made in March 2014, and his award was received by his wife, Rita, and daughter, Abbey.