CEO from finance sector propels once-struggling Jackson Health into the black

On the hunt for new talent, healthcare increasingly draws from a pool without hospital experience, and now a Miami-Dade hospital network has pulled itself back from the brink after recruiting a retired banker to be its CEO, according to the Miami Herald.

Jackson Health System was in deep financial water in 2011, having taken a $419 million loss over the previous three years due to uncollected debts and budget overruns, when Carlos Migoya, a former banker and Miami city manager, took the CEO seat.

Eschewing ideas such as selling off the system or scaling back services, Migoya instead developed a plan to control expenditures by negotiating salaries and benefits with unions, establish system-wide best practices and make over the hospital's public image. Migoya also sought state money for Jackson, replaced the management team and cut more than $50 million by outsourcing emergency room doctors. In a 2013 special election, the county voted to approve an $830 million bond issue for infrastructure improvements, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

As of 2015, Jackson now has an unprecedented $62 million budget surplus and patient admissions have grown 6.6 percent, as has the proportion of insured patients in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Migoya has also cut uncompensated care by ramping up screening of indigent patients for assistance eligibility. While the hospital is spending more on care delivery than it takes in from patients, county money more than offsets the deficit, according to the article.

"Instead of being a guy walking in and trying to be 'The Guy', he put a great staff around him, worked with the staff, let the staff do what they do and Carlos did what he does--he's more involved in the finance and vision, and a little bit on the political side," Joe Arriola, chairman of the Public Health Trust that governs the system, told the Herald.

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