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Finances Remain Top Concern for Hospital CEOs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 28, 2011

Financial challenges ranked No. 1 on the list of hospital CEOs' top concerns, as it has for the last six years, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives' annual survey of top issues confronting hospital leaders.

Healthcare reform and its implications ranked No. 2 on the 2010 survey released this week, similar to last year's No. 2 issue "healthcare reform implications." Concerns about governmental mandates moved to No. 3 on the list, up from No. 5 in 2009.

"Because health reform became a reality last year, it is not surprising that the importance of implementing reform has not only remained the No. 2 issue on CEOs' minds but has also elevated the area of governmental mandates to CEOs' No. 3 concern," said Thomas C. Dolan, president/CEO of ACHE.

ACHE asked 542 hospital CEOs who responded to the survey to rank 13 issues affecting their hospitals in order of importance, and to identify specific areas of concern within their top three issues. After financial challenges (77%), and healthcare reform (53%), other top issues included government mandates (32%), patient safety and quality (31%), physician relations (30%), providing care for the uninsured (28%), patient satisfaction (16%), personnel shortages (11%), technology (10%), capacity (6%), governance (3%), not-for-profit status (2%), and disaster preparedness (1%).

CEOs who expressed concerns about finances said they were most concerned with Medicaid reimbursements (88%), followed by Medicare reimbursements (78%), bad debt (70%),  overhead costs (63%), inadequate funding for capital improvement (63%), managed care payments (51%), other commercial insurance reimbursements (42%), revenue cycle management (37%), emergency department (30%), and competition from specialty hospitals (20%).

More ACHE survey results may be viewed here.  

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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