Catholic healthcare should establish comprehensive compliance strategies, beyond following Medicare reimbursement laws, that reflect mission and ethics. A covenant model of business ethics--rather than a self-interest emphasis on contracts--can help organizations develop a creed to focus on obligations and trust in their relationships. The corporate integrity program (CIP) of Mercy Health System Oklahoma promotes its mission and interests, educates and motivates its employees, provides assurance of systemwide commitment, and enforces CIP policies and procedures.
Roman Catholic giant Ascension Health is showing that not only investor-owned chains can offer a financial sanctuary to a troubled hospital. Last week, the nation's largest not-for-profit system agreed to absorb Carondelet Health System and its eight remaining hospitals.
After more than 20 years in health care, including at least a decade in leadership, this day was perhaps my darkest on the job. Since becoming chief operating officer of this Catholic hospital, I, with the help of my management team, had struggled to find answers to apparently overwhelming financial and operational challenges. I had been forced to make tough decisions in the pursuit of financial stability. In round-the-clock meetings, my team and I (with the assistance of a consulting firm whose specialty was turnarounds) had dissected every aspect of the operation.
In 2000, Bon Secours Health System began a growth spurt that added eight hospitals, spreading its operations across nine states. But now it's a different story; since last November the system has announced plans or deals to sell facilities in Florida and Virginia, and leave New Jersey entirely. Incoming CEO Richard Statuto, left, faces a handful of challenges. "We need to determine how effective they've been at right-sizing their organization," a Standard & Poor's analyst says.
The U.S. Catholic healthcare system is healthy financially, but providers are warily expecting cuts in federal reimbursement. Large systems have worked to become more efficient and profitable, and those efforts are paying off. "We are doing well. We've continued to improve our operating margins," says Kris Zimmer, left, an executive at SSM Health Care.
Bon Secours Health System's South Division launched a multitude of performance-improvement projects in 2004 even though it boasted a 9% margin. Why? Officials at the Catholic healthcare system wanted to increase the amount of money available for its nation-wide charitable commitments as well as to invest in capital projects critical to its mission.
In less than a decade, Ascension Health has risen to the top tier of U.S. healthcare systems, with operating revenue that bests household names like Google and Amazon.com. Helping lead the system's meteoric rise is CEO Anthony Tersigni, left. "We are a ministry. We're not a business. We do business practices for one basic reason: We have bondholders who are counting on us to repay the bonds."
Healthcare Financial Management: Journal of the Healthcare Financial Management Association
Healthcare organizations that want to implement a productivity program should: Name an executive champion to lead the initiative. Develop a business model. Establish a productivity steering committee in each hospital. Use standardized definitions and auditable data. Define and monitor goals.
OBJECTIVE: This research addresses the following types of responses by hospitals to increased financial risk: (a) increases in prices to privately insured patients (testing separately the effects of risk from the effects of "cost-shifting" that depends on level of Medicare payment in relation to case mix-adjusted cost); (b) changes in service mix offered and selectivity in acceptance of patients to reduce risk; and (c) efforts to reduce variation in resource use for those patients admitted.
This study investigates the capacity of hospitals to vary the intensity of their services based on patients' expected sources of payment. While the concept of price discrimination by hospitals based on payer generosity ("cost-shifting") has been discussed extensively, the notion that hospitals can adjust payer-specific marginal costs to reflect differences in reimbursement policies has not been studied in depth. To examine this issue.