In This Issue
Pamela M. Sinclair, FACHE - Advanced Home Care
Samuel B. Seifert - Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Preston Hammock - Alamance Regional Medical Center
Wendy P. Hicks - Forsythe Medical Center, Novant Health
Johnny Veal - Lexington Memorial Hopsital
Immediate Past President
Paul A. Jeffrey
Wesley Long Community Hospital – Moses Cone Health System
Message from the Regent|
John W. Roberts, FACHE
“Do You Ever Just Want to Start Over?”
This is my first “official” communication to North Carolina ACHE affiliates since becoming your Regent at 2011 ACHE Congress in March of this year. It is an honor and significant responsibility to work with well over 1,000 ACHE affiliated healthcare executives in North Carolina. I look forward to serving you and ACHE over the next three years. I also want to tell each of you how much I appreciate your support and encouragement. Many ACHE affiliates have contacted me with offers to help or to just introduce themselves and chat about our professions. This is a good time for me to acknowledge the efforts of our NC ACHE chapter leaders. There is a lot of work being done to encourage the continued development of our four NC chapters and the local program councils. I strongly suggest that if you are not active in a NC ACHE chapter that you find a way to become more active.
Just a few quick thoughts and reflections:
I am a “hospital operations guy.” I have had management jobs in healthcare organizations for more than 35 years in three states: Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. I have had opportunities to manage and oversee healthcare organizations with a number of service venues: hospitals, long term care, home health, behavioral health, emergency management, physician organizations and now physical rehabilitation.
I am reminded of what is often quoted as an ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” I wonder how such a quote could possibly be a curse. I sure would not want to live in uninteresting times! I guess it is all in how you look at things.
My career has provided me some interesting times. I started in the 1970s under retrospective cost-based reimbursement (when Medicare actually paid us our cost and even sent us a check at the end of the year to settle up any differences). Then in 1983 we worked through the implementation of prospective payment systems (PPS)/diagnosis-related groups (DRG). We thought the world as we knew it just might be coming to an end. About the time we figured that out along came the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Then in the 1990-2000s we are still trying to development relationships with managed care organizations (MCOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and OWOs (other weird organizations). And now I join many of you in trying to lead our organizations through another “interesting time” as we figure out how to reform healthcare delivery (which in my opinion is very much needed and appropriate) with ideas such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments. What a challenge! To be successful in the coming times I believe we must have healthier lifestyles, quickly improve clinical outcomes, minimize opportunities for error, mandate safer processes, significantly reduce cost, and provide environments that assure great places to receive healthcare services and great places to work. And we must do all of this with less financial resources. This time might be the most interesting of all, but I am still not sure it is a curse; maybe, we shall see.
I am a fan of the comic strip, Peanuts. I especially like it when the writer runs his series on Charlie Brown’s baseball team. A couple of weeks ago Charlie speaks with Lucy: “OK, Lucy, you are the next batter. Here is what I want you to do. (Next frame);
Charlie: “The situation calls for a bunt…now they know we know the situation…but we know they know we know…” (Next frame, Lucy intently listening);
Charlie: “…but it just may be that they know we know they know we know…so…” (Next frame);
Lucy: “Charlie, start over, please.”
(Peanuts Cartoon, March 29, 2011, Charlotte Observer)
Healthcare management is extremely complex. Sometimes we just want to start over, but I know we won’t because we are committed to figure out how to thrive and provide a product to our customers that is high quality and more affordable for all.
Cheers to all. Have a great summer. Please contact me if I can help in any way.
John W. Roberts, FACHE
ACHE Regent for North Carolina
Next Quarterly Education Session
Late September 2011
Stay Tuned for Details!