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January 18, 2017

Around the nation: Ascension Healthcare CEO to retire

Daily Briefing
    • Florida/Texas: Pamela Arora, CIO and senior VP at Dallas-based Children's Health, has been named the 2016 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the year. She is scheduled to receive the award, which is sponsored by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando on Feb. 21. The award recognizes health care CIOs who have made significant contributions to their organizations and shown innovative leadership in their use of technology. According to CHIME and HIMSS executives, "Through an ambitious telemedicine program, an unwavering commitment to information exchange, and willingness to help small provider organizations, Arora has helped the Dallas-based health system break down barriers to care" (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 1/12).
    • Massachusetts: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) unveiled several proposals to curb the increasing costs of the state's Medicaid program, MassHealth, which currently insures about 1.9 million people. Baker is calling for capping payments for certain providers, scrapping certain hospital fees, and ending new insurance mandates—as well as reviewing a repealed provision of the state's 2006 law that fined employers with more than 10 full-time employees if they did not offer health insurance. The Baker administration said MassHealth enrollment has grown under the Affordable Care Act, in part because the program's expansion under the law allows low-income workers to enroll in the program even if their employer offers health insurance (Dayal McCluskey, Boston Globe, 1/17).

    • Missouri: Ascension Healthcare President and CEO Robert Henkel will retire on July 1, the health system announced last week. Patricia Maryland, president of healthcare operations and COO, will succeed Henkel in the positions once he leaves. Ascension officials added that Henkel will participate after his retirement in the Ascension Consulting Network, an initiative through which retired leaders can work with the Catholic health ministry.Ascension is the largest faith-based not-for-profit health care system in country, with more than 140 hospitals and 2,500 facilities in 24 states and Washington, D.C. (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 1/16; Barkholz, Modern Healthcare, 1/12; Liss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/12; Ascension release, 1/12).

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