Brigham & Women's turns to consulting to boost revenue

Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston figures it knows a thing or two about healthcare, and plans to market that expertise to other hospitals.

The hospital has hired Steven Thompson, founding CEO of Johns Hopkins International, to position Brigham & Women's as a consultant to hospitals, healthcare businesses and health initiatives, the Boston Business Journal reported.

As senior vice president and chief business development officer, Thompson will "assist the leadership team in seeking new sources of revenue and shaping the organization's partnership and investment strategy," the hospital said in an announcement. He starts work Dec. 1.

"The new economic reality that hospitals and healthcare institutions are facing requires us to not only reduce costs, but also to generate new sources of revenue in order to sustain our precious mission," Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., president of Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in the statement. "As we consider different partnerships and opportunities that will help us to do this, we must ensure that we are not just putting our prestigious name 'over the door,' so to speak, but that we are thoughtful about how potential partnerships will establish a true clinical, scientific and educational connection to our organization."

Thompson told the Boston Business Journal he'll be looking for organizations that want to use the hospital's knowledge of research, education and patient care in a business setting. He said healthcare businesses overseas are especially interested in learning and implementing best practices.

While Thompson's background includes medical and administrative roles at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, hospital boards increasingly are looking outside the healthcare world for executives with experience in business development financial services and other non-medical expertise. Only 39 percent of hospital CEOs hired in 2013 came from another hospital CEO position, according to Black Book Rankings, and this year's percentage was expected to be even lower.

And while Brigham is banking on growing revenue by marketing its expertise and revenue, some hospitals boost profits through their investment portfolios. Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago, for example, earned nearly as much money from its investments last year as from its hospitals and medical practices.

For more information:
- read the article
- here's the announcement