May 30, 2014

One Tough Job

Rich Umbdenstock, AHA President and CEO

Management experts say running an American hospital is among the most complex and demanding jobs in any community. Hospital chief executives must keep their doors open 24/7, even in disasters, in a constantly shifting local, state and federal regulatory environment; negotiate with dozens of payers; and manage the largest and best educated staff in the community. That’s what I wrote in a letter to the editor of The New York Times published May 25 in response to an article on hospital executive compensation. I took particular issue with a quote suggesting that doctors may be the only ones who want to do well by their patients. Every hospital leader goes into the field to help patients. The trust we place in our hospitals’ ability to deliver care relies on the success of the committed people who lead caregiver teams that anchor every community’s health care safety net.


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