Healthcare News of Note: Most board members of the nation’s top hospitals work in finance or business
- Less than 15% of board members at a sampling of the nation’s top hospitals are health professionals, while 56% work in finance or business.
- Since 2014, the number of medically disenfranchised people in the U.S. nearly doubled from 56 million to over 100 million, causing stress for providers and lower rates of immunization and rising occurrence of preventable chronic diseases for patients.
- Forty-five U.S. hospitals made it into the top 250 as noted in the World’s Best Hospitals 2023 compilation by Newsweek and global data firm Statista.
Over the past few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. Few top-hospital board members work in healthcare, study says
Chief Healthcare Executive reported that 56% of board members at the nation’s top hospitals* work in finance or business, while 14.6% are health professionals, according to the study “Professional Backgrounds of Board Members at Top-Ranked US Hospitals” published Feb. 8 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
“Most of the board members working in healthcare are doctors (13.3%), the researchers found,” wrote Chief Healthcare Executive author Ron Southwick. “Meanwhile, 0.9% of board members, or just about 1 in 100, are nurses.”
According to Southwick, additional findings about the composition of hospital boards show:
- 44% work in the financial activities sector
- 80.2% of those working in financial activities lead financial corporations, including private equity firms, wealth management firms and banks
- 14.7% of those in the financial activities sector work in real estate and 5.2% in insurance
- 12.6% of board members work in professional and business services
* The analysis — conducted in July 2022 — included 15 hospitals that had high rankings in U.S. News & World Report and made public information about their boards.
2. More than 100 million Americans do not have access to a usual source of primary care
“Since 2014, the number of medically disenfranchised people [those facing primary care access barriers] nearly doubled from 56 million to over 100 million,” causing stress and burnout for providers and increasing the incidence of preventable chronic diseases for patients, according to the study Closing the Primary Care Gap: How Community Health Centers Can Address the Nation’s Primary Care Crisis, published in February.
Interestingly, “only 11% of the medically disenfranchised population are uninsured, demonstrating that access to a usual source of primary care requires more than having insurance,” wrote the report authors. “Many people who have insurance are still unable to access primary care in their community due to a shortage of providers.”
Report authors note that Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), also known as community health centers, “reduce the need for emergency room visits and inpatient care, and health center patients have 24% lower medical expenditures overall.”
Results of the study, conducted by The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and HealthLandscape at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), include:
- 56% of medically disenfranchised individuals have an income below 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Nearly a quarter of the medically disenfranchised population are children.
HFMA related content
- Read “Healthcare 2030: The Next Generation Public Health System.”
- Read the Q&A “Why community partnerships are so critical for promoting health,” with Erica Coletti, CEO of Healthy Alliance.
3. 5 U.S. hospitals make it into the top 10 of the world’s 250 best hospitals, says Newsweek
Five of the world’s top 10 hospitals are in the United States, according to the fifth annual listing of the World’s Best Hospitals 2023 by Newsweek and global data firm Statista. Forty-five U.S. hospitals made it into the top 250.
“The goal of this study is to provide a data-based comparison of hospital reputation and performance across countries,” wrote Nancy Cooper, Newsweek’s global editor in chief. “We hope this will be useful to patients and families seeking the best care for themselves and loved ones, as well as to hospitals as they benchmark themselves against their peers.”
Top 10 hospitals in the world
According to the listing, here are world’s top 10 hospitals:
1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
2. Cleveland Clinic
3. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
4. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
5. Toronto General – University Health Network
6. Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Solna, Sweden
7. Charité – Universitates, Berlin
8. L’Hôpital Universitaire Pitié Salpêtrière, Paris
9. Singapore General Hospital
10. UCLA Health – Ronald Reagan Medical Center, Los Angeles
The rankings were determined by reviewing more than 2,300 hospitals in 28 countries, using the following data sources: an online survey of medical experts from around the world, publicly available data from patient surveys about their experiences, hospital quality metrics and a patient-reported outcomes measure implementation survey.
HFMA bonus content
- Read the article “Financial and operational pressures continue for hospitals amid some positive signs,” by Nick Hut, HFMA senior editor.
- Read the March issue of hfm magazine, including the columns “Healthcare leaders require the courage to put consumers first” by Joe Fifer, HFMA president and CEO, and “What’s cost effectiveness of health going to take?” by Aaron Crane, HFMA’s National Chair.
- Listen to the Voices in Healthcare Finance podcast episode “The real dangers of an obesity diagnosis,” with host Erika Grotto. Ragen Chastain, a medical researcher and patient advocate, discusses why the body mass index is misleading and how it can lead to discrimination in healthcare.