CEO: Hospitals Should be 'Like the Maytag Repair Man'

Philip Betbeze, January 11, 2013

As the leader of NCH Healthcare System in Naples, FL, Allen Weiss, MD, would like to see fewer people using his hospitals for care.

In theory, so would we all. Hospitals, in a generic sense, are more than ever, for serious illnesses. They're also expensive, and as many hospital safety reports in recent years have shown us, often deadly.

Hospital and health system executives who realize that the unsustainable cost trajectory of healthcare threatens their continued existence are many. Just witness the ever-increasing number of merger announcements in recent months.

But even among that group, you'll find a few who think spending is likely to level out sooner rather than later. These are the early adopters of new ways to create incentives for healthcare organizations to keep people healthy.

Count Alan Weiss among them.

An aim of keeping people out of the hospital is not the kind of thing a hospital CEO with 75% of his local market share is expected to say, even in this enlightened time. Yet Weiss is convinced that his health system's future lies in finding ways to keep his beds empty. And unlike many others, he's taking steps to make sure that happens sooner rather than later.

But a couple of things have to happen first.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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