Snow ex­its Well­mont ...

... to take on COO po­si­tion at Amedisys

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Vince Gal­loro

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.

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