CEO on Safety Net's Turnaround: 'Never Waste a Crisis'

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , January 24, 2014

The numbers were significantly better in 2013, in which the health system booked a $45 million profit. Migoya says profit would have been higher, except that to invest in the future, the health system added staff in clinical areas and invested heavily in information technology. Even a $1 million loss last December thanks to increasing numbers of self-pay and uninsured patients was only a small blemish on the turnaround.

More Work To Do
The turnaround is nice, but Migoya insists the current Jackson team is only half-finished. Now that its finances are stabilized, he says the system's "sentinel" strategy is to make sure it becomes an attractive hospital for all patients. That means transforming the hospital's payer mix to some degree. Like most safety net hospitals, Jackson depends a great deal on government reimbursement. Medicare makes up about 15% of its payer mix, and Medicaid, 35%.

"We also want to get away from the stigma that people come here only if their life depends on it, and go somewhere else for everything else," he says. "Modernizing [the] plant is a big piece of that. Getting employees to be more patient-centric, to focus on patient satisfaction, and, last but not least, that the management team caters to managed care companies to make sure we have competitive rates."

See Also: HL20: Laurent Gueris—Creating a Better Patient Experience Environment

The capital to fully implement that strategy came in an $830 million capital bond approved by Miami voters last November that will provide funding for modernizing the existing campuses as well as adding urgent care centers, a children's ambulatory pavilion and a new rehabilitation hospital. That will make Jackson attractive not only to local patients, Migoya says, but to medical tourists.

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