On December 12, Crain’s Chicago hosted the Hospital CEO Breakfast focused on the State of Health Care at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Crain’s Health Care Reporter Stephanie Goldberg moderated the panel of hospital leaders including J.P. Gallagher, President and CEO of NorthShore University Health System; Ranga Krishnan, MB, ChB, CEO of Rush University System for Health; George Miller, President and CEO of The Loretto Hospital, and Gina Sharp, President and CEO, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. Brian Weber and Aviva Clayman, Trexin colleagues in the healthcare practice, attended the lively discussion.
After a networking session and short breakfast, the moderator, Stephanie Goldberg, asked the panel a variety of questions pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, service rationalization, access to healthcare services, reimbursement and regulations, the importance of quality, safety and value, representation of women and minorities in leadership positions in healthcare, and innovative approaches to care delivery models (outcomes based) as a partnership between patients, providers, and payors.
CEO J.P. Gallagher broke news around the acquisition of Swedish Covenant Hospital being finalized and discussing the importance supporting community-based programs that address domestic violence and homelessness. President and CEO George Miller expanded on the topic that state hospital leadership teams should reflect the diverse makeup of the community they serve and partner with the community to establish programs that address the concerns of the community. The conversation then transitioned to service rationalization and new care delivery models required to improve patient outcomes. J.P Gallagher highlighted how NorthShore was transforming Skokie Hospital to focus on Orthopedics and the efforts to educate the community, patients, providers, and EMS. President and CEO Gina Sharp added that Linden Oaks Behavioral Health has focused on ways to provide integrated care to behavioral health patients by adding social workers to the primary care team in order to help patients navigate services and ensure they are provided adequate care. CEO Ranga Krishnan continued the topic by highlighting that the Emergency Department at Rush calculates a patient risk score within 60 minutes of the patient entering the ED. This use of artificial intelligence (AI) has improved diagnosis’s and reduced the mortality rate of patients by 20%. However, he also stated that AI is only as successful as the information inputted into the system to ensure a proper outcome.
The concluding moderated points of the session were around revenue, reimbursement, and women in leadership. CEO Ranga Krishnan stated revenue at academic hospitals is shrinking and philanthropy is becoming the key source of funding to fill the revenue gap at academic hospitals. President and CEO George Miller added that Illinois is the worst payor of Medicaid expenses which is a revenue challenge for Loretto Hospital. Recent legislation has helped reduce the “reasonable time for payment” to 30 days and observation reimbursement has increased. The moderator wrapped up the final discussion topic by stating, “20% of women are in key leadership positions, yet women make up 80% of the hospital workforce. How are each of your organizations addressing this percentage difference.” Each panel representative briefly commented on how their organization was working to increase the percentage of women in hospital leadership positions. Examples included establishing leadership councils for mentoring women and identifying key skills that indicate success in a leadership position. They acknowledged the importance of mentoring the next generation of healthcare leadership with a focus on leadership pipelines reflecting the communities served.
The final parting thoughts were on Healthcare’s future challenges to address:
- Seamlessness – continuity and coordination of care for patients
- Access to healthcare for everyone
- Align the system, payors, providers, and pharma for better patient outcomes
- Reimbursement and regulations