Hospi­tal CEO rank con­cerns

Ex­ecs list fi­nan­cial chal­lenges as big­gest con­cern

Modern Healthcare - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Barr

Hospi­tal ex­ec­u­tives’ daunt­ing tasks ahead are well-re­flected in a new sur­vey show­ing that fi­nan­cial chal­lenges, health­care re­form, safety and qual­ity, and gov­ern­ment man­dates con­tinue to be the big­gest is­sues con­fronting hos­pi­tals.

The an­nual sur­vey, con­ducted by the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Health­care Ex­ec­u­tives, asked com­mu­nity hospi­tal CEOS to rank 10 is­sues in or­der of rel­a­tive con­cern, and the is­sue of fi­nan­cial chal­lenges was by far the big­gest con­cern with an av­er­age rank­ing of 2.5. “Ev­ery­body’s wor­ried about what re­im­burse­ment’s go­ing to be like from the gov­ern­ment,” said Thomas Dolan, pres­i­dent and CEO of the ACHE.

The ACHE also asked about spe­cific con­cerns within each of the 10 is­sues, pro­duc­ing a list of spe­cific fi­nan­cial con­cerns that re­flects fears about what lies ahead for ma­jor gov­ern­ment pay­ers Medi­care and Med­i­caid (See chart).

The sec­ond big­gest is­sue was health­care re­form im­ple­men­ta­tion with an av­er­age rank­ing of 4.5, fol­lowed by pa­tient safety and qual­ity and then by gov­ern­men­tal man­dates, both of which had av­er­age scores that rounded to 4.6.

Be­hind those four is­sues in or­der were care for the unin­sured (5.2); physi­cian-hospi­tal re­la­tions (5.3); pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion (5.6); tech­nol­ogy (7.2); per­son­nel short­ages (7.4); and cre­at­ing ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions (8.4).

Of­fi­cials at Christiana Care Health Sys­tem ac­knowl­edge the is­sues in the sur­vey as im­por­tant, in­clud­ing the fi­nan­cial con­cerns, but choose to tackle them in a top-down ap­proach fo­cused on im­prov­ing the value of the care it pro­vides, said Dr. Robert Laskowski, pres­i­dent and CEO of the two-hospi­tal, Wilmington, Del.-based sys­tem.

As part of that, the sys­tem in July cre­ated the Christiana Care Value In­sti­tute to guide the sys­tem through the changes tak­ing place in health­care by try­ing to cre­ate a frame­work for cre­at­ing and de­liv­er­ing value. “All these things are im­por­tant, and if you don’t have re­sources, you can’t take care of peo­ple,” Laskowski said. “I wouldn’t put one higher than the other in terms of rank or­der. They all blend to­gether,” he said. The is­sues are more amenable to a so­lu­tion if a hospi­tal is tak­ing care of value in pro­vid­ing care, Laskowski added.

Dolan said he be­lieves a sleeper prob­lem found near the bot­tom of the list is per­son­nel short­ages, which could be­come more of a con­cern once the econ­omy picks up some steam. “I’m pre­dict­ing a work­force short­age like we’ve never had in the past once this (eco­nomic slow­down) is over,” Dolan said. Many hospi­tal em­ploy­ees are work­ing with the ex­pec­ta­tion that they will drop out of the work­force once their fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion im­proves, he said.

The ACHE this year changed the way it con­ducted its sur­vey, an­tic­i­pat­ing that the or­di­nal method used this time would pro­vide bet­ter in­for­ma­tion than the ap­proach used in pre­vi­ous years. “I just think this is a more ac­cu­rate way to do it and this is how we’re go­ing to do it in the fu­ture,” Dolan said.

The ACHE pre­vi­ously asked ex­ec­u­tives to rank the is­sues but re­ported on the per­cent­age of re­spon­dents who listed a given con­cern in its top three. The new method for cal­cu­lat­ing the over­all re­sults takes a broader look at the CEOS’ con­cerns in­stead of tar­get­ing their three big­gest con­cerns, he said.

The sur­vey was sent to 1,294 com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals and re­ceived re­sponses from 514, ac­cord­ing to the ACHE. Pre­vi­ously, the sur­vey was sent to all types of hos­pi­tals.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.