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Daydreaming on Healthcare Reform, and More

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

I came back from a vacation recently to a horde of meetings. Like you probably do, I view them as a necessary evil, but it's a rude way to come back from some much-needed time off.

If you're like me, you pay dearly for that time you took off. In fact, I can especially feel time drifting away during these dreaded meetings as deadlines inevitably approach for one of the many projects on which I'm behind.

As you probably do, I daydream sometimes during these meetings. The other day, during a meeting about our 2010 HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey, I had a brainstorm. More on that in a minute. Meantime, think about this question:

If you could ask your peers anything, what would it be?

I think I'd ask my peers how they're doing with the extra workload that's on them now that many of their colleagues have been laid off. If you haven't noticed, the media business is moribund, at best. I'd also ask them whether they see a long-term future in getting paid for the written word, but I digress.

Currently, I'm paid to put my finger on the issues that concern healthcare CEOs, so I was naturally thinking about that too. As leadership editor, I am tasked with coming up with additions and deletions for the many questions we ask in the CEO portion of the annual survey. Here are a few of the questions our team and I were batting back and forth that will elicit meaningful responses about the myriad of issues that are affecting you and your organization:

  • What kind of impact has the stimulus had upon your hospital, if any?
  • What do you expect your organization to gain, or lose, from healthcare reform?
  • Which physician specialties are most difficult to deal with?
  • What kinds of outpatient services are you planning to add in the coming year?

Healthcare faces a double whammy. It is both suffering along with other industries in the recession and finding itself in the crosshairs of a massive government effort to reform the system. After covering healthcare for the better part of 10 years, I can make a pretty educated guess about the issues that concern healthcare CEOs. Still, I found myself thinking that it would be nice to have a roomful of CEOs to ask the information they most want to know about how their peers plan to conduct business in the coming year of uncertainty.

Other HealthLeaders Media editors are focusing on finance, quality, and physicians, among other areas of interest. We all are tasked with developing a few questions that are relevant to 2010, and getting rid of some that have become dated over the past year. Then, Eureka! It occurred to me that I have a focus group right here with the readers of this column.

Perhaps you're curious about how you stack up against your peers this year. Perhaps you have a vexing leadership problem that you're interested in asking a broad swath of your peers about how they might handle it. You can e-mail me with any suggestions or just leave a comment in the space below this column.

So, what do you want to know?


Note: You can sign up to receive HealthLeaders Media Corner Office, a free weekly e-newsletter that reports on key management trends and strategies that affect healthcare CEOs and senior leaders.
Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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