About IFG

Patients need to be the source of control

Institute of Medicine, Crossing the Quality Chasm


In his book Out of Practice, Fighting for Primary Care Medicine in America, Frederick M. Barken, MD describes primary care as “relational in its very nature.” The same could be said of medical care in general. Ultimately it comes down to a dyad, two people. Those two people could be a patient and a doctor, or a patient and a nurse, or a patient and a therapist.

A succession of reforms, nobly aimed at reducing costs and improving quality, have sucked the life out of the dyad. But costs continue to rise and safety has not improved. A recent slowing of cost growth has been attributed by Sean Keehan, senior economist at CMS (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) to the fact that “consumers are being cautious about using healthcare goods and services.” The patient side of the dyad is taking management responsibility for their care.

It is the mission of IFG Health to safeguard the dyad. We provide tools which help people to make the care relationship work. We provide healthcare system education that help the people, who often regard themselves as victims of that system, to take back their humanity, to realize a satisfaction that the current emphasis on connectivity and data has eroded. By doing so, we believe we will help to realize the cost reduction and quality improvement goals that have proved so elusive.


Steve Deal is, by training, a systems engineer with an aggregate 14 year’s experience – eight years in satellites and simulation, and six years in human systems. Previously, Mr. Deal founded Deal Corp, a firm providing research and development services to multiple branches of the Department of Defense. Mr. Deal was educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SB, 1991) and at the University of Illinois at Urbana (MS, 1996).