Party politics in the hospital boardroom: CEOs must tiptoe in political minefield

Healthcare executives must exercise caution when discussing their personal opinions about federal, state and local politics in the boardroom. Despite the impact the outcome of the November 2016 elections will have on the healthcare industry and their own organizations, experts interviewed by Becker's Hospital Review suggest hospital CEOs keep party politics out of the office.

"They have to be really careful about whether they might be alienating someone by making this information public," Robin Singleton, executive vice president and practice leader for DHR International's National Healthcare Practice, told the publication.

Their opinions though are bound to come up as Republican lawmakers threaten to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Supreme Court considers the King. v. Burwell case, which challenges the legality of ACA subsidies for insurance plans purchased on the federal marketplace.

But keeping their thoughts to themselves becomes especially important for leaders of health systems who want to expand their relationships with employers and health insurers in the regional and local market as these businesses may have different interests at stake depending on the election results, she said.

However, it may be difficult for CEOs looking for a new job to keep their opinions private as hospitals boards may question candidates about their thoughts on a proposed legislation or their stance on healthcare reform, according to the article. Although these questions might not come up during the actual interview, the article noted, it's not unheard of for an influential board member to bring them up over dinner or golf.

To learn more:
- read the article

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