Hospital CEOs: 'Financial challenges' top concern in 2011

Health reform, patient safety among highly ranked issues

Financial challenges were the "top concern" for community hospital CEOs in 2011, the eighth straight year the issue has ranked No. 1, according to an annual American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) survey.

For the survey, ACHE asked 514 community hospital CEOs to rank 10 issues in order of relative concern and then to give specific concerns within each of those issues.

According to the results, hospital CEOs said health reform implementation was the No. 2 top concern for the third consecutive year, while government mandates and patient safety and quality shared the No. 3 spot.

Other top concerns included care for the uninsured, physician-hospital relations, patient satisfaction, technology, personnel shortages, and creating accountable care organizations.

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Among executives who were concerned about finances:

  • 88% said they were concerned with Medicaid reimbursement;
  • 88% with government funding cuts;
  • 78% with Medicare reimbursement;
  • 71% with bad debt; and 
  • 54% with decreasing inpatient volumes.

Thomas Dolan, president and CEO of ACHE, says personnel shortages likely could become more of an issue as the economy recovers, noting that many hospital employees plan to retire when their financial situation improves (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 1/28 [subscription required]).


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