Impending Death of Hospitals

Thank God, You’re About to Be Treated by the Chief Transformation Officer!

October 8, 2018

You can’t believe your luck!

You’re in the back of an ambulance, its siren streaming as it pulls into the emergency entrance of Big Medical Center of Somewhere, America. You’re quickly rolled inside, in tremendous pain but still conscious. Up walks a physician in impeccable C-suite attire with a stethoscope draped over his neck.

God must be smiling on you, for you’re being taken care of by the highest-paid physician on the hospital’s payroll, yes, the top clinical integration/transformation executive!

What, you’re not lucky?

Hospitals are focusing their hard and few-earned dollars exactly where it counts, spending big bucks on the physician executives who will surely rescue them from nosocomial existential syndrome: chief officers of this or that trendy trend.

According to a recent report, here are the top earning lifesaving physician executives:

• Dr. Top Clinical Integration-Transformation Officer pulls in close to $600,000.
• Dr. Top Quality Executive earns a bit more than $460,000.
• Dr. Top Medical Informatics executive earns close to $380,000.

But don’t feel sorry for them having to spend so much time in meetings, drinking coffee, and having executive lunches. Those dollar figures are just the cash portion of their compensation.

Hey, I’d expect a lot of transformation for $600,000. Change is good, right? Just ask the physician I met from Venezuela. Oops.

Hundreds of hospitals are closing. Others left standing bemoan the fact that they’re broke and often blame it on their greedy contracted physician groups. “You want a stipend so that half your group doesn’t leave? What, are you crazy? We lost $4 million last year and now we have to hire a chief transformation officer and a few MDs who gave up medicine for informatics.”

Does anyone else find this funny? Does anyone else see this as not only rearranging the deck chairs on the post-iceberg Titanic, but spending to parachute in some extra caviar and champagne?

Still conscious as you’re rolled into the operating room and the team gathers around you (yes, you’re still awake . . . couldn’t afford those damn anesthesiologists) you’re baffled as the room gets dark, not light. And then you understand why: Dr. Top This-or-That wants to make sure that everyone can see her PowerPoint presentation, even you.

There’s never a shortage of money, only a question of priorities. And, it’s a heck of a question.

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