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January

Blog Posts in 2014

  • What's a CFO to do?

    During the past few months, I’ve noticed a number of articles discussing the changing role of a healthcare CFO. One article mentioned the growth in unpredictability CFOs would be faced with because of healthcare reform. Increasing financial risk would be another new issue for the CFO to contend with because of new reimbursement models. Significant capital investment in population health ...
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  • Infections Will Be Prevalent in Hospital of the Future

    In early 2014 one of our blogs described what we believe the future hospital will look like. We indicated that the patients requiring hospitalization would be those with critical illness, injuries, or immediate post-op from complex surgeries in the neurosurgical, cardiac, and transplant fields. We added that because of the severity of these patients’ conditions, they would be prone to ...
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  • The Toxic Side Effects of Technology

    Several months agao we published a blog putting forth the premise that the increased availability and utilization of clinical technologies in the diagnostic areas – MRIs, CAT Scans, and Ultrasounds – have significantly diminished the use of inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation by health care providers. These four tools, utilizing the eyes, ears, and hands, are taught as ...
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  • Is Anyone Listening?

    In a recent Senate hearing, physicians from Harvard, based on recent research, stated that hospitals are no safer today than they were 15 years ago when the IOM Report “To Err is Human” drew national attention. In doing the research for our upcoming book, we have found many books written over the last 25 years putting forth strategies to improve both the quality and lowering the costs ...
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  • Why More Is Not Necessarily Better

    In our blog postings, other publications and presentations, we have frequently addressed the problems associated with the overuse of medical procedures, readily available studies, and radiology exams. While in some cases this menu of diagnostics is warranted, there are hundreds of cases where more care is not better treatment, and, in fact, can often make outcomes far worse. Recently, my physician ...
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  • Could There Be a Rainbow in the Clouds?

    All leaders in the healthcare industry know that we are in the midst of a most challenging decade. With the combination of governmental payment reductions, pay-for-performance reimbursements, new ambulatory players in the market, and the economic crisis for many which continues in the US, many say we are in the midst of a “perfect storm”. So, could it be possible that, like in so many ...
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  • Is Being a Health Care Leader Really Worth It?

    I received another call this week from one more colleague who informed me he was retiring early from his leadership role. This made me think again about a question I am frequently asked as I travel around the country coaching and mentoring members of leadership teams, and making presentations to large and small health care organizations: 'Is being a healthcare leader really worth it?' ...
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  • What it Takes to be Visionary

    It is said, in many forms and forums, that the person least prepared for the future is the one who is certain about what the future will be. Why is this a universally accepted truth? I believe it is because no one ‘knows’ what the future will be. There are certainly ways of looking to what the future may be like and some of these things are quite predictable--like demographic ...
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  • What is an ACO?

    This question seems to be getting a lot of buzz lately. What does it mean? Where did it come from? Why are we even talking about it? To answer this question let’s start with a little background. The very first Congress of the United States of America met March 4, 1789. It focused on setting up departments (War, State, Treasury, Judiciary, etc.) and attending to the inauguration of the first ...
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  • The Importance of Organizational Culture and Brand

    In today’s healthcare environment, an organization’s capability to growing a sustainable revenue line is dependent on growing their market share. Because of the increasing availability of comparable clinical outcome data and ease of transportation, consumers have more flexibility in selecting their health care providers. An important question that the CEO and Leadership Team of any ...
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  • Healthcare on the Economic Battlefield

    Recently, Texas made national headlines as a result of Toyota Motor Corporation announcing the consolidation of the North American headquarters from Torrance, California and Erlanger, Kentucky to Plano, Texas. Ironically, I lived in Northern Kentucky at the time Toyota moved the North American manufacturing headquarters to Erlanger, Kentucky. It was a huge boost to the economy of the area. After ...
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  • One Way to Reduce Overuse: The Importance of Human Touch

    In numerous articles and blogs in the last decade, the overuse and misuse of some medical procedures, lab tests, and diagnostic studies have been identified as a problem in US healthcare. I have written and spoken about this issue for the last two decades. In the last several years there is mounting data that are moving some providers, and the associations representing them, to say that this is ...
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  • Money-- the Root of Change

    In my city there are no less than five hospitals recently opened or currently under construction. Two of these are rebuilds of existing facilities, but the other three are brand new hospitals owned by investors. These latter ones are designed for those who can pay. With the advent of many more insured patients in this country as a result of the Accountable Care Act (ACA), some investors are ...
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  • Experimentation

    During the summer of 1963 my life was changed forever. The late Colleen Berg, our neighbor and mother of my best friend Tom, introduced me to my first slice of homemade, pepperoni, mushroom and onion pizza. The reason the event is so vividly etched in my memory is it doubled my food group horizon from primarily hamburgers to hamburgers and pizza. At the time, I might have been considered a finicky ...
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  • Identifying Challenges Is Not Enough!

    It is quite common to see in various magazines, emails, or on LinkedIn, a listing of the 10 top challenges that CEOs believe they are facing in the healthcare industry today. They often call this list the: “what is keeping them up at night” list. Although recognition of current challenges is important for health systems, hospital boards, and leadership teams, this is not enough. The ...
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  • Texas High School Football

    Today’s blog is about a sea change. The change includes elements from the field of complexity science. For good measure, there are also sprinklings from Peter Senge’s 1990 book, The Fifth Discipline. Amazon lists 90,852 “results” for books about change management. I’m sure there a numerous other examples represented in these books that relate to this story. I have a ...
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  • Meeting the Challenge of Extending Care

    A very long time ago, my first job out of graduate school was with the University of Mississippi Medical School in a program to train registered nurses to become Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM). The nurses committed to work a minimum of two years after receiving their Master Degree and their Certification in a ‘prepared site’ somewhere in the six southeastern states. Why was there such ...
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  • Happy New Year!

    While I was driving around New Year’s Eve day, the local National Public Radio (NPR) station was having listeners call in and report on the success or failure in keeping 2013 New Year’s resolutions. As one can expect, the failure rate far exceeded the success rate. Certainly not surprising. What is surprising is we now have volumes of research both current and old on how to create ...
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  • Predictions for 2014! Will They Be the New Reality?

    As enumerated in our first blog of 2014, posted on January 6th, most of our predictions for health care changes in 2013 became reality. Even one of the most provocative blogs entitled, “I Have a Dream: Acute Hospitals Are No Longer Necessary”, seems to have increasing credibility with numerous healthcare leaders. One such person is Dr. Robert Pearl who published a recent article in ...
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  • Are We Credible?

    As we begin the new year, the Partners at Royer-Maddox-Herron Advisors will begin a new blog series, posting a new one every two weeks. And as we did last year, we will pick current, cutting-edge, and even some provocative topics which we believe will have a significant impact on health care’s 2014 journey. Perhaps a question, one should ask is: “Are the RMH Advisor Blogs worth ...
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