No more good ol' boy network for hospital boards

The challenges of healthcare reform have forced hospital boards to change the way they do business, Becker's Hospital Review reports, with many hospitals now looking for board members who will challenge the status quo.

As healthcare organizations grow, it's likely that board members are making decisions about an organization many times larger than their own businesses, Mercer partner Tom Flannery tells the publication. Because the hospital business is so complex, hospitals often recruit board members with expertise in risk management, insurance, finance, technology and human resources, he adds.

Indeed, formal board succession planning is becoming more common, with hospital systems of all sizes using professional recruiters to seek out highly qualified board members from other geographic areas, according to Wayne Sensor, CEO of Ensocare in Omaha, Nebraska, and a board member for HealthEast Care System in St. Paul, Minnesota.

With hospital systems recruiting more highly qualified board members, the number of board members for nonprofit hospitals receiving compensation is also on the rise. Some factors determining whether board members receive compensation include the need to attract and keep board members with sought-after talents, the size of the hospital system and the time commitment expected of board members.

Having top-notch board members to maintain leadership continuity may be even more important as turnover of top hospital executives continues at an all-time high.

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