Snow exits Wellmont ...
... to take on COO position at Amedisys
After stints with two of the biggest investor-owned healthcare companies, Mike Snow would have been perfectly happy to finish his career at Wellmont Health Systems in Kingsport, Tenn., which he joined in 2008. “I had resolved that I was going to be in the tax-exempt sector, that that was where I was going to finish my career,” Snow said in an interview.
But a lesser-known for-profit name—home-health provider Amedisys—lured Snow away. The Baton Rouge, La., company announced last week that Snow would join Amedisys as chief operating officer effective March 1.
He will replace Larry Graham, who left Amedisys in September 2009, an Amedisys spokesman said.
Amedisys also said that it hired Tim Barfield, 45, as chief development officer, a new position for the company, effective Jan. 11. Barfield is leaving his job as executive counsel to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to join the company.
Snow, 54, has deep roots in the investor-owned side of healthcare services, having worked from 1995 to 2004 for Nashville-based HCA and for three years after that as COO of HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala. Yet, Snow said he wasn’t looking for another job. “There’s scrutiny around the home health sector, but I think Amedisys is uniquely situated to be, for lack of a better term, a game-changer for how home care is viewed and valued in the health reform era,” Snow said. “That’s terribly exciting, to be kind of on the tip of the spear.”
Snow joined Wellmont as interim CEO in July 2008 and was named president and CEO in February 2009. In those 18 months, Snow helped the seven-hospital system turn around its finances, according to Wellmont. The system posted $9.3 million in operating earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009, about 50% more than budgeted.
Last year, Wellmont restated its financial results for fiscal 2006 and 2007 to correct accounting errors. The system’s board expects to choose a full-time successor to Snow by the end of February. (See Snow’s recent From the C-Suite commentary, “When ethics fail,” [Dec. 7, 2009, p. 24.])
At Wellmont, Snow said, he was preparing the system to adjust to a new, dramatically different reality. He thinks Amedisys can be what’s needed in the coming era. “Who knows what the future is,” he said, “but I think clearly, the days of just doing more and doing more are not going to be well-rewarded. It’s doing better and providing a value proposition to patients and payers. That’s who will be valued and have a seat at the table.”
Snow is returning to for-profit sector after a stint at Wellmont.