Hospitals put more doctors, nurses in charge

Changing healthcare reimbursement and delivery systems are driving clinicians and hospitals closer together, and as a result doctors, nurses and other health professionals increasingly are taking on key leadership roles, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

For instance, Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth and Baylor All Saints both have clinicians at the helm. Lillie Biggins, a registered nurse, serves as president of the Texas Health hospital, while physician Jeff Canose oversees operations for the southwest region of Texas Health Resources that includes 12 hospitals.

Similarly, Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill., and Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago recently named physician Roberta Luskin-Hawk, a board-certified specialist in infectious diseases, as their president and CEO, Catholic health system Presence Health announced earlier this month.

"Dr. Luskin-Hawk's practice experience, focus on quality and clinical excellence, business acumen and passion for her work are important foundations for her leadership role," Presence Health President and CEO Sandra Bruce said in the announcement.

And at Portsmouth (N.H.) Regional Hospital, registered nurse Anne Jamieson runs the 209-bed facility as its chief executive, according to Foster's Daily Democrat.

Over the last two or three years, hospitals have been giving healthcare staffing firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates more requests for executives with clinical and administrative backgrounds, the Star-Telegram noted.

David Klein, who heads Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth (Texas), said his background as a surgeon has helped his medical staff relationships, but he still credits his MBA. "It just gives you a good sense of revenue and expense management. It helps with strategic planning and growth," Klein told the Star-Telegram. "I would not have been a candidate for the position I'm in without it."

With that in mind, senior healthcare professionals are heading back to school for their MBAs. For the first time, healthcare has more students in MIT's executive MBA program than any other industry, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

For more:
- read the Star-Telegram article
- here's the Presence Health statement (.pdf)
- read the Fosters article