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Leadership

 

Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, the public health commissioner of Georgia, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a former candidate for Congress, has been named as the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two weeks after being named interim president and CEO of Houston’s Memorial Hermann Health System, Charles Stokes, MHA, has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis by the hospital’s board.

Healthcare finance leaders are most focused on technological improvements in revenue cycle management (RCM) over the next year, while almost all are concerned about how the increasing number of self-paying patients will affect their organizations.

The annual Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference includes the induction of the organization’s new board chair, its chief elected officer. For 2017-18, the position belongs to Carol Friesen, MPH, vice president of health system services at Bryan Health in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Patients are increasingly basing decisions about their care on concerns about high deductibles and rising out of pocket costs. This in turn affects how satisfied they are with their care, which means revenue cycle management (RCM) shouldn’t ignore a patient’s difficulties in paying their bills.

 

Recent Headlines

Hospital CEO Turnover Rate Highest in 32 Years

The merger and acquisition trend is showing up in the annual CEO turnover rates recorded by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Trinity Health’s Sepsis Initiative Reduces Mortality Rates and Trims $16.6 Million in Costs

Septicemia continues to pose a challenge to hospitals: A statistical brief1 released recently by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates not only that 47.1% of aggregate hospital costs incurred in 2011 were related to the 20 most expensive conditions to treat, but that the top five such conditions, septicemia among them, accounted for nearly a fifth (18.5%) of the total aggregate costs of all hospitalizations. Perhaps it’s even more significant that the brief identifies septicemia as the most expensive condition treated in hospitals in fiscal 2011, with an aggregate cost of $20.3 billion (or 5.2% of the total aggregate cost for all hospitalizations) required to cover its remediation.

BCBSA’s Robert Kolodgy: Transforming the Payor–Provider Relationship

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s 37 member companies cover one in three Americans, giving senior VP and CFO Robert Kolodgy an excellent vantage point from which to view the economics of health care reform. In “Transforming the Payor Provider Relationship to Improve Value” at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s annual national institute meeting in Orlando, Florida, Kolodgy put reform into financial context, enumerating the costs associated with the benefits of the nation’s health care law and describing some of the innovative partnerships BCBS has entered into with providers as part of a four-part plan to address health care’s well-known problems.

Lessons from the Airline Industry

Great leaders (like great health IT solutions) are able to access relevant information across the breadth of industries (and platforms), discern pattern in chaos, and transmit the resonant truths to those they lead. Warner L. Thomas, who took the reins at Ochsner Health System as president and CEO in 2012, likes to talk about the parallels between health care and the airline industry with his management team.

Scott & White’s Robert W. Pryor, MD: Putting Physician–Administrator Teams in Charge

Modern health care systems require more teamwork than ever to deliver the best treatments and solutions while keeping costs down. Physicians will have to get more involved in the overall picture, and focus on team building and team leadership. That’s the overall message delivered by Robert W. Pryor, MD, president and CEO of Scott & White Healthcare

Accelerating Change: Take No Prisoners, Find Your Burning Platform

In 2008, when Sandra L. Coletta, MBA, accepted the position of president and CEO of Kent Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, she knew that she would be facing significant challenges when implementing organizational changes at the institution. At the time, Kent Hospital ranked in New England’s lowest percentile in overall client satisfaction. Its emergency department earned customer complaints of poor quality patient service and medical care. To add another mark against its already marred reputation, the hospital was in the middle of a high-profile lawsuit, filed by actor James Woods, who blamed the facility for the wrongful death of his brother, Michael J. Woods.

Henry Ford Health System: Four Models of Physician Compensation

In the late 1990s, when most hospitals were exiting the physician ownership game, the Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, Michigan) assumed a radical stance not only by continuing to employ its physicians, but to innovate in the area of physician compensation models.

Clinical Integration: Benefits and Pitfalls

Regardless of the form it takes, clinical integration of hospitals with physicians is not easy, with a range of obstacles—from logistics to philosophical differences—posing significant challenges. That's what two health care executives—Dan Wolterman, president and CEO of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, Texas, and Alyson Pitman

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