Over the past year, we have observed significant departures of hospital executives in certain states due to miscommunication and other differences between the C-suite and board of directors. This breakdown in communication often begins in the professional background differences between the board and leadership. Many directors and commissioners don’t have a background in healthcare, especially in smaller communities. Additionally, there is a division in opinion within the industry on whether leaders with a clinical versus financial or operational background are a benefit or a hindrance to the success or the organization or whether it matters at all. Divisions between leadership and board opinions appear to be more common in rural settings but larger urban facilities are not immune to these disputes. Board members with little health care experience may focus on the wrong metrics to gage success due to a lack of understanding about healthcare finance and operations. For instance, they may focus too closely on bottom line net income as opposed to the balance sheet and cash flow statements to gauge the health of the hospitals financial position.
In working with hospitals, hospital associations, and other industry lobbying groups around the nation, we have found there are best practices that can be employed to improve board and executive relations. An understanding between these governing groups over core competencies, relevant financial metrics, regulatory updates, key reimbursement concepts and overall mission are crucial to a successful partnership. In our presentation, we will focus on how an organization can achieve optimal communication between leadership and the board.
- Focusing on advocacy and fiduciary responsibility
- Building and maintaining core competencies for directors and commissioners
- Awareness of regulatory issues and financial concepts
- Opening communication channels with hospital leadership