What keeps community hospital CEOs up at night? Finances, government mandates and personnel shortages

Executive looking out window
The leading cause of financial headaches involved Medicaid reimbursement, according to the nearly 300 CEOs who answered the ACHE survey. (Getty/Tom Merton)

Once again, hospital CEOs ranked finances as their top concern, according to the American College of Healthcare Executive’s annual survey of the most troubling issues confronting hospitals.

Government mandates were second on the list, followed by personnel shortages, ACHE announced.

The survey was completed by 299 community hospital chief executives, who ranked the 10 issues that affected their hospitals in 2017 in order of how pressing they are and identified specific areas of concern within each of those issues.


13th Partnering with ACOS & IDNS Summit

This two-day summit taking place on June 10–11, 2019, offers a unique opportunity to have invaluable face-to-face time with key executives from various ACOs and IDNs from the entire nation – totaling over 3.5 million patients served in 2018. Exclusively at this summit, attendees are provided with inside information and data from case studies on how to structure an ACO/IDN pitch, allowing them to gain the tools to position their organization as a “strategic partner” to ACOs and IDNs, rather than a merely a “vendor.”

RELATED: 3 healthcare challenges for the C-suite in 2017

“Assuring patient safety and providing quality care is the No. 1 job of hospital leaders," Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE, said in the announcement. "The survey results indicate that leaders are addressing the challenge of doing so in a changing and uncertain financial and regulatory environment. That personnel shortages have become one of the top three concerns suggests that hospitals are keeping their attention on attracting and retaining a talented workforce to ensure the short- and long-term needs of patients can be met."

RELATED: Hospital exec challenge: How to attract, retain staff as talent pool shrinks

The biggest financial challenges involved Medicaid reimbursement (71%), increasing costs for staff and supplies (64%) and reducing operating costs (57%). The CEOs also noted concerns with government funding cuts (56%), bad debt (54%) and competition from other providers (48%).

The most troublesome government mandates included CMS regulations (70%), regulatory uncertainty that affected strategic planning (67%), cost of demonstrating compliance (54%), and state and local regulations and mandates (51%).

RELATED: Top 10 concerns of chief nursing officers

For staffing, the CEOs were most concerned with shortages of registered nurses (69%), primary care physicians (63%) and physician specialists (52%).

Suggested Articles

The FTC is suing health IT company Surescripts, accusing the company of employing illegal vertical and horizontal restraints in order to maintain its…

Ohio’s attorney general is continuing his war on PBMs, this time by proposing a multi-step plan to improve transparency and lower drug costs. 

The Trump administration wants to allow state Medicaid programs test new models of integrated care to treat dual eligible beneficiaries.