These blog posts are supposed to be directed toward creating healing hospitals. That objective seems to be compromised from time to time as I post genuine opportunities for hospital CFO’s and CEO’s to trim monies from their budgets, to find money that their hospitals should have received, or to initiate new ventures that will create additional, positive economic yields for their facilities. I’m sorry, but I just can’t help myself.
One of my “gifts” as a CEO was to always find ways to pay for the challenges that we faced so that new ideas, new modalities and new healing techniques could be introduced to our healthcare environment. I even wrote a book about it. Interestingly, the biggest push back that I experience when presenting to my former peers is that bottom line, no nonsense question: “How the heck are we supposed to pay for this stuff?”
The Benefits of Healing Hospitals
Over the years I’ve prepared charts, graphs, and narratives demonstrating the dramatic growth patterns, the huge economic surpluses, the wonderful bottom lines that were generated by embracing a “healing” philosophy, but those of you who have been lured by “snake oil salesmen” in your past lives are very leary that my passionate dialogue is simply that, dialogue. You have no reason to believe me when I say that improving your employee morale will improve your patient satisfaction scores. Of course it’s common sense, but if you’re too nice to your employees, they’ll think you’re a push over and they’ll take advantage of you, right? Well, after 22 years of niceness, the one thing I can tell you is that niceness can be confused with weakness, and that needs clarification early on in your journey.
You see, my recent devotion to the economics of healthcare was prompted by the knowledge that you will be treating much larger quantities of patients for less reimbursement. Consequently, new streams of funding will be imperative. For example, the annual amount of discretionary healthcare dollars spent on integrative and holistic medicine is well into the double-digit billions of dollars. Logic would tell you that at least a percentage of these dollars could be spent at your facilities. The downside is that your patients have not been used to paying cash for anything except co-pays, but the reality is that “they will pay,” if the service is meaningful, helpful, and healing; money simply becomes a way to get them there.
If you, however, don’t believe that massage is good for you, don’t believe that some people respond well to acupuncture or Reiki, don’t care that aroma therapy, floral essences, or pet, music and humor therapy have a place in “legitimate medicine,” that’s a problem, a personal problem. Go on vacation to some place like Canyon Ranch, and let go for a few days. Allow yourself to be open to new modalities. The body and mind can work extremely well together . . . if you’ll just give them a chance. More importantly, you can generate additional funds for your facilities that will result in additional growth in market share, in patient loyalty, and in patient and employee satisfaction.
So, this week’s tip . . . financial transaction services: Over 1/4 of your facilities daily financial transactions are completed electronically. We are currently providing the interface for your financial transactions that will reduce your costs of doing electronic business exponentially. It is seamless, requires no interruption of your current banking relationships, and invisible to the patients and your staff, but why, for example, would you pay 4.5% if you could complete the same transaction for 2.5%? It’s savings that can contribute to your bottom line to allow you to supplement your staff with those individuals who can add additional depth, healing activities, and peace of mind to your patients’ experiences.
It’s all good.