Lubbock Heart Hospital: John McGreevy, CEO

by HCE Exchange on August 19, 2010

Since December 2003, Lubbock Heart Hospital has been caring for hearts in west Texas. The 74-bed, acute care hospital is physician owned specializing in the prevention and treatment of cardiac  disease. Though located in Lubbock, a city of approximately 210,000 residents, the hospital serves the regional area of west Texas and eastern New Mexico, a population of about 1.2 million.

The hospital includes four heart surgical suites, a complete diagnostic and imaging center, sleep disorder center and a 24/7 emergency department aimed at the treatment of cardiovascular emergencies. The hospital has both air and ground transport capabilities and can expect to receive anywhere from 8 to 20 air flights on any given month.

Growth Potential for a New Hospital

“Since we are a relatively new facility,  long term capital requirements in terms of facility and equipment are  minimal,” says John McGreevy, Chief Executive Officer. McGreevy was hired during the construction phase of the hospital and became CEO of operations once the facility was up and running.

The hospital is focused, however, on  implementing an electronic health record and computerized physician order entry system, to achieve meaningful use required by the new healthcare reform legislation.

Recent upgrades have been to improve the primary revenue generating portion of the hospital, the cath lab. Picture archiving and communication systems have been updated, as well as installment of a physician reporting system. “We are pushing that out to the web where our physicians can have access to their images from their practices and homes. The purpose is to help our physicians become more efficient and productive. We have greatly increased the capability of our information systems in the cath lab. We put forth about $1.2 million for that upgrade,” says McGreevy.

First and foremost, however, McGreevy says the hospital will be challenged by the effects of the recently passed healthcare reform legislation. Included in the reform were certain  limitations for physician owned hospitals. “We are looking at strategic direction with regard to how these changes are going to impact the  hospital’s future growth initiative as it relates to physician and recruitment. The replacement of retiring physician owners is pivotal to the organization’s integration strategy.”

Possibilities include looking for another capital partner or forming a relationship with a larger player in the region. They are looking at ways to better integrate with their physicians who are suffering from loss of revenue from recent Medicare cuts and at affiliation models that will help both the hospital and the doctors.

“There might be a closer web that we can spin with our doctors to help them build back that revenue,” McGreevy says. “Of course, integration in terms of information systems is another arena we are evaluating. We have the foundation in place to overcome the challenges of healthcare reform”

Challenges

Attracting talented leaders is McGreevy’s number one strategy for managing a hospital like Lubbock Heart. “It presents a unique challenge to bring in talented leaders to the organization that will help us continue the success we have  achieved in a fiscally sound manner,” he says. “We need executives that have strategic vision. For our part, we need to maintain pay practices that are competitive. “We must have compensation arrangements that will hold them here and make them want to stay.”

Capital financing continues to be an problem as a freestanding, independently owned hospital. “That’s simply an economic issue; it’s about the bank’s willingness to lend,” says McGreevy. “The pipeline out there is very thin in terms of access to capital financing.”

Rated High for Quality and Satisfaction

In spite of all this, the hospital continues to succeed financially. Lubbock Heart Hospital continues to be one of the top rated hospitals in the nation in terms of quality of care and satisfaction. They are a top tier hospital in terms of CMS core measures. “Our patients rate us in the 93rd percentile on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) question of likelihood to recommend Lubbock Heart Hospital to friends and family. We feel that we have a wonderful platform here at Lubbock Heart Hospital as a patient-centered healthcare provider. Really, that’s where it all starts,” he says.

McGreevy says the key is managing with key metrics. “All of our leaders, physicians, and staff at Lubbock Heart Hospital recognize the practice standards. They know they need to follow them.  Standards are hard-wired into the orders for the patient, and also, the physicians are on board with them. We have a day-to-day culture at Lubbock Heart that patient satisfaction  and patient quality is a number one priority.”

-by T.M. Simmons

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