In these difficult times, we believe it’s important to provide a forum for healthcare executives to share their thoughts on industry trends and discuss the critical issues and challenges they face in providing leadership to hospitals and medical groups.
Alpharetta, GA (Vocus) February 9, 2010
As part of ongoing efforts to foster timely communication among different segments of the medical community, Jackson & Coker (http://www.jacksoncoker.com ) regularly interviews healthcare leaders across the United States. Their personal insights are spotlighted in a special feature of the Jackson & Coker Industry Report.
“In these difficult times, we believe it’s important to provide a forum for healthcare executives to share their thoughts on industry trends and discuss the critical issues and challenges they face in providing leadership to hospitals and medical groups,” said Sandra Garrett, President of Jackson & Coker.
The most recent interview was with Shawn Strash, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer with Oro Valley Hospital in Oro Valley, Arizona. He was interviewed by several associates at Jackson & Coker, and his insights are included in the latest edition of the Jackson & Coker Industry Report. Here are some key observations made during the interview:
- In the current economic downturn, it’s particularly challenging to find qualified nurses and other care staff. Nurses, in particular, are in great demand, but those who have significant experience are generally reluctant to make a career move. To meet this challenge, many hospitals are relying more on staff nurses covering for one another, although contract nursing is still a beneficial staffing option.
- Recruiting physicians in “underserved medical specialties” is another ongoing challenge. Certain specialists like Neurologists and ENT doctors are in great demand, but it is difficult recruiting them given their typical compensation expectations. Some of them apparently expect to earn what Cardiac surgeons earn annually.
- Another area of concern to hospital executives is ever-increasing health care regulation. The sheer bureaucratic paperwork that must be completed is voluminous, and it’s very labor-intensive to satisfy the demands of the state, Joint Commission, managed care organizations, and federal agencies like Medicare.
- To spend time most productively, healthcare executives must focus on running their business well and meeting community needs. In a competitive market, it’s critical to adequately address the various medical needs of health-savvy consumers who can select one medical institution over another for medical care.
- Billing issues are particularly problematic for busy hospitals or medical practices. In the current economy, many patients are either delaying voluntary procedures or experiencing difficulty in meeting the co-pays and deductibles when they do receive medical care. A related concern is the influence of private insurers, which currently offer many more plans than in the past. Billing for services rendered under different plans makes the whole process more complicated and time-consuming.
- Health care reform is in the media spotlight and of uppermost concern to industry executives. Many health leaders favor some manner of reform, if not a complete overhaul. A key concern is for individuals not covered by adequate health insurance to obtain coverage, but how that will play out in the Congressional debate remains to be seen.
- A potentially looming issue of the economic downturn is that of independent hospitals struggling to survive. In some parts of the country, institutions with greatly reduced profit margins have had to merge with other facilities. That trend has not been noticeable in Arizona up to this point in time.
- On a personal note, Mr. Strash mentioned the importance of having good mentors as key to professional development. Experienced, concerned mentors can help their protégés avoid pitfalls and mistakes, and remain flexible in dealing with personal challenges they face in their career development.
The entire interview can be accessed at http://www.jacksoncoker.com/physician-career-resources/newsletters/articles-surveys/ShawnStrash.aspx.
About Jackson & Coker
For over three decades, Jackson & Coker has been a leader in physician recruitment through the placement of physicians in both permanent placement and locum tenens physician jobs. The firm specializes in anesthesiology jobs, CRNA jobs, neurology jobs, psychiatry jobs, surgery jobs, primary care jobs as well as emergency medicine jobs. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, the firm has earned a reputation for providing cost-effective, time-sensitive solutions to both government and commercial health care organizations. The recruitment staff works in two divisions of the company: Permanent Placement Recruitment, which places physicians in over 40 medical specialties in permanent staff positions, and locum tenens, a staffing model that recruits medical providers (physicians and CRNAs) for temporary vacancies.
Jackson & Coker has earned a “Gold Seal” designation as a “Certified Health Care Staffing Service” by the Joint Commission and is affiliated with a credentials verification organization (JH CVO) that has received certification by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in ten out of ten credentialing elements.
The firm also produces the online monthly Jackson & Coker Industry Report that offers timely articles, special reports, white papers, industry surveys and other matters of interest to the medical community at large. Here’s the link to JCIR: http://www.jacksoncoker.com/physician-career-resources/newsletters/default.aspx.
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