Healthcare Reform Creates More Slots in the C-Suite

John Commins, October 28, 2013

Nobody had ever heard of a hospital having a chief experience officer until just a few years ago. Now qualified clinician-executives are at a premium. So are chief strategy officers, familiar in other industries, but new to healthcare and hospital administration.

Healthcare reform and its many permutations are creating new and more specialized leadership roles into the C suite.

Nobody had ever heard of a chief experience officer until Cleveland Clinic coined the phrase just a few years ago. Now qualified clinician-executive candidates for the post are in high demand, says Travis Singleton, senior vice president at Irving, TX-based physician recruiters Merritt Hawkins.

"It's an example of a provider executive that didn't exist two years ago [or] maybe even one year ago, and now it is one of the best paid, most common, and popular executive positions—and necessary—in this new environment," Singleton says.

"Those infrastructure C-level positions get more into the profit center management and it's highly complex. You may have had a large health system two and three years ago, but it only employed 10% to 15% of physicians, whereas now they can employ 70% to 100% of physicians. That brings on a whole other realm of experience, management oversight, compliance, and integration."

Singleton says the chief experience officer looks at hospital operations "through the patients' eyes," managing flow and care contact points.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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