September 2000

CEO Advisory Groups Help Develop National Programs for Local Benefit

Through two new advisory groups, market-based organization chief executive officers are helping guide Catholic Health Initiatives’ strategic direction in information technology and supply chain initiatives. "Market-based chief executive officers are important stakeholders in Catholic Health Initiatives’ national programs, and we need to hear their opinions and suggestions for our plans in the information technology and supply chain areas," said Kevin Lofton, chief operating officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. "In each area, the CEO Advisory Groups help us set priorities for programs that have the greatest potential to benefit our market-based organizations."

Both groups plan to meet three or four times a year, usually by teleconference. "We are looking to the advisory group to provide advice and to help prioritize the initiatives of the Information Technology Resource Group," said Robert Barrett, interim chief information officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. "We’ll also seek their help in refining our communications efforts, because we want to be sure we can effectively communicate the benefits and impact of our information technology efforts to the market-based organizations."

In its first two teleconferences, the CEO Advisory Group for supply chain revised the billing model for Catholic Health Initiatives’ clinical engineering program. "Based on the group’s insights, we improved the billing model, changing the program administration fee component from a percentage of costs to a set monthly fee derived from budgeted case mix adjusted admissions," said Phil Mears, vice president of supply chain for Catholic Health Initiatives. "This makes more sense, because the old model was a potential disincentive for market-based organizations to participate in the program. Through their recommendations, the advisory group helped us deliver greater value."

Barrett and Mears agree that the councils help their respective resource groups understand the full range of market-based organization challenges and needs. "We serve multiple facilities that are geographically dispersed and have a multitude of needs," said Mears. "The advisory groups are a great help to us, because the members present us with different ideas and perspectives."

The advisory group members also act as advocates for resource group initiatives. "Because they have an impact on resource group decisions, these chief executive officers can champion our programs and can help provide clarity to their peers," said Barrett. "That type of assistance will be extremely valuable as we come up with ways to address e-business, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and many other important issues."