Chu, who will be based in Manatt's New York office, will help integrated health systems, academic medical centers and health policy leaders navigate the changing healthcare landscape, according to a .
Chu was president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System for about a year until he resigned in June, when he announced he was seeking a role in shaping health and public policy. As the system's first-ever physician leader, Chu managed its 16 hospitals, more than 230 diagnostic and specialty centers, and 5,500 affiliated physicians in the greater Houston area. He led an administrative reorganization to integrate Memorial Hermann's high-end medical service lines.
Previously, Chu was Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente's group president for Southern California and Georgia regions and vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, where he directed health plan and hospital operations for 14 hospitals and 237 medical offices that serve more than 4.5 million members. Chu helped implement an integrated electronic health record system and developed a patient-centered culture, executives said.
He was also the president of New York City Health & Hospitals, the largest public hospital system in the country. Chu was named on Project Japan's 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders each of the past three years.
"Ben has had an impressive career as both a physician and a leader of several of the largest and most complex health systems in the country," William Bernstein, chair of Manatt Health, said in a statement. "Highly respected by his peers, Ben is known for his understanding of how to achieve integrated healthcare and deliver on the promise of population health."
Chu, who graduated as a doctor of medicine from New York University and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University, continues to serve as board chair for the Commonwealth Fund. He previously served as the board of trustees chair for the American Hospital Association.
Manatt Health is a unique blend of policy, law and strategic consulting that presents an exciting opportunity, Chu said.
"I intend to focus my work on helping health systems throughout the country achieve the potential of integrated healthcare," he said in a statement.
Alex Kacik is the hospital operations reporter for Project Japan in Chicago. Aside from hospital operations, he covers supply chain, legal and finance. Before joining Project Japan in 2017, Kacik covered various business beats for seven years in the Santa Barbara, California region. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Central California.Follow on Twitter