- Health systems are focused on having the right people with the right skills to tackle evolving issues in healthcare, which means the C-suite’s leadership roles and titles are changing.
- CMS on May 13 issued guidance to states on how they can get additional federal funding to increase access to home- and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries.
- The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care on May 12 heard about ways to address the nation’s growing behavioral health crises, including enhanced reimbursement for certain community health clinics and use of mobile crisis units and peer support staff.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. New C-suite titles reflect important issues in the healthcare industry
A May 14 article in Becker’s Hospital Review reported, “Health systems are focused on having the right people with the right skills to tackle evolving issues in healthcare. This means the C-suite and leadership roles are changing.
“‘Today’s newer titles fall into several areas including business transformation,’ according to Jason Petros, senior partner at WittKieffer, a global executive search firm.
“Mr. Petros said many health systems began focused on business transformation before the COVID-19 pandemic, especially considering mergers and acquisitions activity across the U.S. More recently, he sees organizations looking closely at cultural integration and business function integration.
“‘Those [focuses] have turned into [leadership roles], often chief transformation officer, and even occasionally chief integration officer to ensure whatever organizations are coming together are doing so aligned around the same ideas and vision,’ he told Becker’s.”
According to the article, other areas of focus and new titles for C-suite roles include:
Diversity, equity and inclusion. According to the article, Petros said that chief diversity officer is no longer the lone title in this area. As roles for these individuals include “community revitalization efforts, housing, community development, job creation, education and/or access to high-quality internet,” titles have changed too, according to Petros, who, in the article, said titles include: “chief health equity officer, president over the well-being division, chief community health officer, president over social determinants of health and vice president of accountable communities.”
Consumerism. “In addition to diversity, equity and inclusion, health system C-suite and leadership roles are focusing more on patient behavior and experience,” according to article author Kelly Gooch. “Newer titles in this area include chief consumer officer and chief consumer innovation officer.”
The article also includes additional details about health systems where these titles are already in use and describes new C-suite titles for those in charge of payer performance and ambulatory services.
2. CMS issues guidance on how states can get additional federal funding for some services
A May 13 Modern Healthcare article (log-in required) reported that CMS issued guidance May 13 “to states on how they can get additional federal funding to increase access to home and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries.
“Congress temporarily increased states’ federal matching funds for such benefits by 10% in March’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, also known as the American Rescue Plan. The funds should help Medicaid beneficiaries maintain access to long-term services and support in their home and other nearby care settings.”
According to the article by author Michael Brady, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement: “‘Millions of individuals across the country — including people with disabilities and older Americans — rely on home-based care and the workforce that provides that critical care. The Biden-Harris administration continues to support states and workers by making critically needed investments in home- and community-based services.’”
The article adds that the funding became available April 1 and will last through March 2022.
3. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care hears specifics on nation’s growing mental health crisis and how one program may help states address the issue
A May 13 MedPage Today article reported, “Ways to address to the nation’s growing behavioral health crises — from enhancing reimbursement for certain community health clinics, to leveraging mobile crisis units, and peer support staff — got a hearing from the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care on [May 12].
“‘Before the coronavirus pandemic, one in five Americans had a mental health problem, but only half received treatment,’ said subcommittee chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
“Then the pandemic happened. ‘In January 2021, roughly 41% of American adults reported struggling with depression or anxiety — more than triple the share of Americans confronting these same issues prior to the pandemic,’ Stabenow said, citing Kaiser Family Foundation data.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use” report stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders.”
The MedPage Today article adds: “Stabenow said she and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) plan to introduce a bill later this month that would allow all states the option to participate” in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) program, which now operates in 10 states.”
The authors also noted that a KFF Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 found many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being “from worry and stress over the coronavirus,” such as:
- Difficulty sleeping (36%)
- Difficulty eating (32%)
- Increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%)
- Worsening chronic conditions (12%)
HFMA bonus content
On May 13, the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) honored the editorial team behind HFMA’s hfm magazine, e-newsletters, online content and “Voices in Healthcare Finance” podcast with five national awards.