You are the chief financial officer of Smithville Hospital, and you have recently implemented a budget reduction throughout the hospital. You want to ensure your actions are accepted among the hospital department managers. What would be the best way to communicate with these department managers? If there is resistance, what should you do? (Reference: Introduction to the financial management of healthcare organizations 6th edition).
Mr. Jones an 87 years old widower who lives alone was admitted to the hospital through the emergency room for shortness of breath and swollen ankles. After an extensive interview, the admitting physician discovered that Mr. Jones has been admitted two weeks earlier with the same symptoms and had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. At that time he spent four days in the hospital and then was transferred to a skilled nursing facility, where he spent three days before being discharged with a prescription for a diuretic to help reduce fluid buildup. The admitting physician discovered that no one at the hospital or the skilled nursing facility had explained to Mr. Jones the importance of maintaining a low sodium diet (high-sodium diets cause fluid retention). Mr. Jones had attended a birthday party and eaten several hot dogs before his latest symptoms appeared. Who should be financially responsible for the costs related to Mr. Jones’s latest admission? Should Medicare or any insurer, pay for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions? Would it be different had Mr. Jones received instructions for a low-sodium diet but chosen to ignore them?
Expert Solution Preview
As a medical professor, it is often necessary to assess and provide guidance on various healthcare scenarios. In this context, there are two different cases to address. The first scenario involves communication with hospital department managers regarding budget reduction actions. The second case scenario pertains to financial responsibility for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions.
Case One: To communicate effectively with hospital department managers regarding budget reduction actions, it is imperative to give them a clear understanding of the financial situation, the reasons for the budget cuts, and the goals that the hospital is trying to achieve. This should be done in person, with the use of visual aids to help illustrate the situation. Being open and honest about the situation, as well as making it clear that everyone needs to work together to achieve the goals, can help to obtain acceptance.
If there is resistance, the CFO should actively listen to the concerns of the department managers and attempt to address those concerns by being clear about why the initiatives are necessary, what the specific objectives are, and how it will move the hospital towards financial solvency. If necessary, compromise may be needed, but it should never compromise the larger goals of the hospital.
Case Two: In this case, it is essential to consider who should be financially responsible for the costs related to Mr. Jones’s latest admission. It would be reasonable for the hospital and the skilled nursing facility to share responsibility for any readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions, including failure to communicate the importance of low-sodium diets adequately. Additionally, Medicare, as well as other insurers, should be held responsible for readmissions related to errors in discharge instructions.
In the case that Mr. Jones had received detailed instructions regarding low-sodium diets but chose to ignore them, he would be held responsible for the costs related to his latest admission. However, this would not absolve the hospital and the skilled nursing facility from the responsibility of communicating the importance of low-sodium diets.
In summary, effective communication and financial responsibility are essential components of healthcare management. Communicating openly and in a straightforward manner with department managers can help obtain acceptance for initiatives, even when faced with resistance. Additionally, it is necessary to ensure that hospitals and skilled nursing facilities communicate effectively with patients and families to prevent readmission related to errors in discharge instructions. Ultimately, focusing on the critical issues of financial responsibility and effective communication can help ensure successful outcomes in healthcare management.
#Case #chief #financial #officer #Smithville #Hospital