Apr 30

Written by: host
4/30/2015 12:57 PM  RssIcon

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

 - John F. Kennedy

It is certainly a new world in which we live! When speaking with colleagues of mine, I often hear them say “things run in a cycle, I have been through this before.”  With the advent of healthcare reform and pay for performance, we are at a point in healthcare that we have never experienced before.  Years ago, organizations had a choice of where to appropriate their priority, mission or margin?  Now, mission and margin are tantamount to each other.  There are cases being heard now where states are opting out of the subsidies for the governments healthcare program, pockets of cuts in charity, fees assessed that encourage migration to the exchange.  There are additional domains being added to the Value Based Purchasing Program and a movement towards transparency in healthcare charges. Additionally, many requirements of the healthcare reform bill add expenses to the organization. All of these realities lead to a very profound interpretation of “doing more with less.” 

Some helpful hint:

  • Today’s food service director needs to be creative, motivated and a strong leader.   It is important to stay ahead of the curve and to be a leader not always a follower. Keep your department fresh and contemporary.


  • We need to stay engaged in the industry and on top of the rapid changes with healthcare reform and other industry influences. Staying engaged gives a greater ability to be proactive instead of reactive.


  • Remember that every decision we make and action we take, needs to be patient centered.  Do not focus on HCAHPS scores, revenue, etc. Focus on the patient and the rest will fall into place.

  • The labor force is changing rapidly. Expectations and experiences of our managers and staff are very different. It is important to have the right person in the right job. Hiring competent people with potential meets the immediate need as well as succession planning and enables the managers to have a variety of perspectives.   Planning operations and recruitment now for the future and being aware of the labor pool is shifting. 


  • Be mindful that there are still revisions from the CMS that will require more bending of the cost curve and some issues being review at the Supreme Court level that may be a game changer to healthcare.  Scrutinizing todays cost for the future will become more important. Example; if a staffing position opens, scrutinize it. Can tasks be centralized or absorbed so the position does not have to be filled? Looking at descending dollars reports quarterly for opportunities in food and direct costs savings.


  • Be very comfortable and embrace technology. Since the advent of the microchip, technology changes come in months not years.  Being able to understand and use these technologies leads to a greater ability to identify uses in the operations.


  • Embrace social media! This is where networking, marketing and customer feedback is moving too at an alarming rate.  



Written by Guest Blogger:

 Michael Atanasio, Manager, Food & Nutrition and Patient Transportation, Overlook Medical Center, New Jersey

Hospital Pay for Performance

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