May the Force be With You


I have compared our ongoing tale of Clovis Community Medical Center’s evolution to the epic film series “Star Wars.” We have almost completed the first episode, “A New Hope.” In this episode, we successfully transitioned into our new 5-story bed tower with all new private rooms. We opened a new Emergency Department (ED), added new Labor and Delivery suites, built an advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit along with new state-of-the-art Inpatient Operating Rooms. The medical campus also opened the first of four new Medical Office Buildings as well as the technological-marvel, the H. Marcus Radin Conference Center, that includes the 216-seat Pete P. Peters Auditorium. Soon, we will open a new Cath Lab, Pharmacy and impressive Women’s Pavilion. With this expansion, we created a premier facility for our physicians, staff and patients. Thanks to everyone’s dedication, we have seen a tremendous increase in our numbers of patients, surgeries, ED visits and deliveries.
In order to expand our capacity, accommodate this new volume of patients and acquire the latest technology, we must have a healthy margin! Because of strong administrative leadership and a committed Medical Staff (see newsletter dated Sept., 2013) we have anticipated a solid bottom line for this year.
We are now about to embark on the second episode, “The Empire Strikes Back.” The Federation has an evil plan in place to reduce our margins. Healthcare reform has officially begun on January 1st, and clearly the plan is to decrease provider payments! For example, it is estimated that Medicare and Medi-Cal payments will decrease about $20 million per year. It is clear that this alone has the potential to eliminate CMC’s margin. For physicians, commercial payors will follow similar decreases that Medicare has planned, and ICD-10 will be forced upon us by the government. 
Moreover, the payment system will change! We will now be paid more and more based on the savings that are generated for the payors. In addition, as the hospital is able to operate more efficiently, produce superior clinical outcomes, avoid unnecessary costs, delays and duplications of services, more savings will be generated, which will be shared back with the providers creating these savings. This means that the individual physician must get involved and become engaged with the hospital that now becomes a true partner in creating savings. Our Medical Staff’s enthusiastic participation, cooperation and compliance with these new models of care is essential in ensuring an outstanding return from these savings.
I fully expect that we are setting ourselves up for a happy ending to the trilogy, in which we have a very successful “Return of the Jedi.” In this episode, we evolve into a top 5% of hospitals in the nation for quality, safety and efficiency. Clovis has always been special and we are the best in this region for leading change. Our side includes the best Jedi Knights we need to win this epic battle. “May the Force be With You!”