HealthLeaders Media HR - April 12, 2010 | Are Defined Benefits Plans on Endangered List?
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Are Defined Benefits Plans on Endangered List?
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media

For decades, not-for-profit hospitals and health systems have used defined benefits pension plans as a recruiting tool to attract quality staff, and as a means of fulfilling their stewardship role with their employees and the communities where they live. A new report from Standard & Poor's Rating Services shows that those defined-benefits plans may come under increased financial pressure in the coming years, as hospitals adjust to softer patient volumes and lower cash reserves. [Read More]
  April 12, 2010

Editor's Picks
CEOs: Employee Retention Is Your Job
Nice piece here from my colleague Philip Betbeze that reinforces a longstanding cause of mine. Phil speaks with healthcare guru Quint Studer, who says that if a hospital or health system CEO isn't concerned about employee turnover, by extension, he or she is OK with higher patient mortality. Put more bluntly: "If the CEO doesn't own turnover, he's more comfortable with more people dying than need to," Studer says. Well put Quint. Our annual surveys continually show that employee retention and recruiting rarely score high on the list of priorities for healthcare executives. That has always baffled me, because those same executives, in the same survey, will acknowledge that they're having trouble finding qualified people. What is the disconnect? I want the HR folks to read this, and then find a way to put it on your CEO's desk. [Read More]
Nurse fired after accepting $23 gift
This is an intriguing story, but I don't think we're getting all the facts. The Boston Channel reports that a Burlington, MA, nurse who was fired by the town after accepting $23 dollars in groceries from an 83-year-old patient is fighting her dismissal. Andria Nemoda said she wasn't even in the office last September when an elderly patient dropped off the groceries at her office at the Burlington Board of Health. She said he was a patient with whom she had great rapport. Three days later she was suspended and eventually fired. The board claims Nemoda told exaggerated stories to the patient to procure gifts from him. It called her actions "serious misconduct" and accused her of being untruthful, a claim that Nemoda denies. Stay tuned. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. [Read More]
Federal jury rules against NUHW
And speaking of intriguing, the Los Angeles Times reports that a federal jury in San Francisco ruled Friday against the insurgent National Union of Healthcare Workers in its fight against the giant Service Employees International Union for representation of tens of thousands of healthcare workers throughout California. SEIU hailed the verdict in a case that exposed "a scheme to undermine the well-being of union members." NUHW called the lawsuit part of a "smear campaign" and said it planned to appeal. This isn't over. [Read More]
Executives on the Move
CHICAGO: Masspro's Bell to Succeed Leavitt at CCHIT
After a five-month, nationwide search, Karen M. Bell, MD, has been named chair of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, effective April 26. Bell, an internist, and most recently the senior vice president of HIT Services at Masspro, replaces retiring chair Mark Leavitt, MD, who led CCHIT since its inception in 2004. [Read More]

SAN FRANCISCO: California eHealth Collaborative Names Tavitian CEO
The California eHealth Collaborative announced that Katherine R. Tavitian has been named CEO. Tavitian succeeds Michele Kang, who has served as interim CEO since 2009. Tavitian has served as CEO of the National Coalition for Health Integration since 2009, where she was founding CEO and board member of a start-up nonprofit organization in healthcare IT. [Read More]

DALLAS: Meyer Named Executive VP for Health System Affairs at UT Southwestern
Bruce A Meyer, MD, vice president for medical affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named executive vice president for health system affairs, effective immediately. He will be responsible for overseeing the entire UT Southwestern clinical enterprise, and his appointment culminates an extensive national search carried out by a committee of senior UT Southwestern leaders. [Read More]

VINCENNES, IN: McLin Named CEO at Good Samaritan Hospital
The Good Samaritan Hospital Board of Governors announced Rob McLin as the hospital's new president/CEO. McLin is stepping up from the position of vice president of finance, which he had held since 1997. An 18-year employee of Good Samaritan Hospital, McLin began his career at the regional healthcare facility as the internal auditor in 1992. McLin replaces Matthew Bailey, who spent 26 years with Good Samaritan Hospital, and resigned on Feb. 12. Senior Vice President Gerald Waldroup has filled in as the interim president/CEO. [Read More]

SAUGET, IL: McCulley named CEO of Southern Illinois Health Foundation
Larry McCulley is the new CEO and president of Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation (SIHF) and Touchette Regional Hospital. For the past seven years at SIHF, McCulley oversaw 35 medical offices in Southwestern Illinois, which included more than 600 staff members, 160 healthcare providers, and responsibility for a $48 million budget. Robert Klutts, former CEO, will continue to work for SIHF part-time as a senior advisor. [Read More]

AUGUSTA, GA: University Health Care's Read to Retire, Successor Named
J. Larry Read, president/CEO of University Health Care System, announced his retirement to the University Health Services Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting. Read, who has led the organization for 11 years, will remain with University through May. Read joined University in January 1999, coming from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Jim Davis, COO of University Heath Services and Extended Care, will assume the position of University Health Care System president/CEO on June 1. [Read More]

BROOKLYN: Porter elected board chair at Lutheran HealthCare
Lutheran HealthCare announced that Emma Graeber Porter, president/founder of Graeber Consulting, has been elected as the new chair of the LHC Board of Trustees. Porter will be replacing Thomas J. Edwards, president/CEO of Helen Keller Services for the Blind, who has served for the last three years. Porter has served on the LHC Board of Trustees for 19 years. [Read More]

NASHVILLE: TMA Installs New President
B.W. Ruffner, Jr., MD, an oncologist and internist from Chattanooga, was installed as the 156th president of the Tennessee Medical Association. Michael Minch, MD, a Nashville surgeon, was installed as president-elect during the annual TMA House of Delegates meeting in Nashville. [Read More]

WASHINGTON, DC: Sebelius Names Five New HHS Regional Directors
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed five new regional directors of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As HHS regional directors, they will serve as key representatives of Sebelius in working with federal, state, local, and tribal officials on a wide range of health and social service issues. [Read More]

BATON ROUGE: Amedisys Names Robinson Executive VP of Hospice
Amedisys, Inc., the home care and hospice company, has named James T. Robinson, most recently of American CareSource Holdings, Inc., as Amedisys' new executive vice president of Hospice. [Read More]

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