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Adding credence to the ideal traits of a healthcare CEO

June 25th, 2015

by Barry Ronan

Last week, I read the FierceHealthcare article, "5 traits of the ideal healthcare CEO." I am here to tell you that the article, which was based on a recent Hospitals and Health Networks article, was right on the money. As CEO of the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, I am beginning my fifth year under value-based care delivery, and I have certainly had to adjust my approach to managing under a new care delivery model.

Taking the five traits one by one, I offer the following insights based on my experience:

Embrace Change: The change has been amazing in that I, along with my management team, our staff and our physicians, have had to virtually re-learn every aspect of care delivery under a global budget. We are partnering with everyone, even those who were previously our competitors, and we try to keep the patient at the center of everything that we do.

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The importance of anticipating the patient experience

June 25th, 2015

by Jason A. Wolf

I have been involved in a few conversations of late in which people--patients and healthcare providers alike--still see experience as a reactive or passive engagement. They have expressed concerns that the idea is becoming just another silo in an already over-segmented healthcare world. This is not surprising, for as humans we look for means to control or understand what is new, big and even boundless in many ways, and we are also apt to react to situations more often than plan. But I believe we overlook a significant opportunity in doing this.

This perspective is elevated for me as I anticipate an upcoming patient and family experience myself. With the pending arrival of our new child in the short days ahead, I am already thinking about the baby and my wife's care. Will they be cared for and will they be safe? How will we be treated, and how responsive will they be to our needs? What will they communicate, and how with they do it? What have they done to help us in advance of our encounter, and what will follow?

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Riverside sentencings should serve as warning shot to healthcare executives

June 25th, 2015

by Evan Sweeney

If you had any doubt that federal prosecutors are serious about bringing the hammer down on healthcare executives who oversee fraud schemes, look no further than the sentences handed down to three administrators at Riverside General Hospital over the last month.

Collectively, three administrators of the notoriously mismanaged hospital will be spending 115 years in prison. That includes a 45-year sentence for Riverside's president, Earnest Gibson III, and a 40-year sentence for Mahammad Khan, the hospital's former assistant administrator and Gibson III's right-hand man. Gibson's son, Earnest Gibson IV, who operated a satellite psychiatric facility linked to Riverside, will also receive 20 years for his role in a scheme that netted more than $150 million. Another administrator that operated a separate satellite location is awaiting sentencing.

There's no shortage of sordid details in the multi-million dollar theft. The three administrators worked with seven others to concoct a scheme that took advantage of mental health and drug rehab patients. The hospital billed for intensive outpatient therapy known as a partial hospitalization program (PHP) for these patients even though many of them were watching TV in place of therapy.

To hear the elder Gibson tell it (as he did months ago according to The Houston Chronicle), other than some misplaced trust in his subordinates, he was an exemplary hospital executive. It reminds me of a job applicant who offers up "caring too much" as a professional weakness.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthPayer: AntiFraud

Chief nursing officer's tale highlights need for empathy in healthcare

June 18th, 2015

by Thomas Dahlborg

I recently had the opportunity to visit a number of well-respected healthcare organizations and meet with amazing servant leaders who are all striving to bring healthCARING back into the healthcare system.

Today I would like to share one of those experiences and what I learned.

At a critical access hospital in the Midwest, I met a chief nursing officer (CNO) who has worked throughout the country to implement systems to better position nurses to be successful and again find joy in their work, and improve the care of patients and their families. We had the opportunity to share stories, best practices and barriers to optimal care provision. And during this time I shared the story that I have shared on many occasions in many forums of the impact of childhood abuse on the health of adult patients.

I explained how I've witnessed firsthand far too many patients being declared "non-compliant" because they did not adhere to treatment protocols when in fact we healthcare leaders have not created care models that allow for time, relationship, trust and for the patient's whole story to be told and heard. These patients were not positioned to share their whole story, and clinicians were not positioned to hear their whole story, e.g., how sexual abuse in patients' past had led them to form an unhealthy relationship to food or how abuse from a coach during their childhood has led to an aversion to exercise. And thus we healthcare leaders have not created systems that allow both patient and clinician to identify and address the root cause of "non-compliance" but rather, we have given up on patients who truly needed us.

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Urgent care: Not an ER or a PCP, but likely better than both

June 18th, 2015

by Andrea J. Simon

As we have been working with healthcare organizations on their urgent care centers (UCCs), we have been fascinated by what we hear from urgent care patients. Often what those patients tell us differs greatly from the expectations of healthcare organizations that created the UCCs in the first place.

Given this disparity, we thought it would be timely to share our early insights and inquire about what you might be seeing in terms of UCCs, as well.

While two-dozen interviews over a few hours at two different UCCs in New York do not amount to a sample, what we've found so far shows several potential patterns emerging. Each one is worth more observation.

=> Read more!

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