I had a phone call on Tuesday of this week from a CEO of a pretty large hospital organization. They have decided to cancel the contract with a current wound care management company, and wanted to have WCA transition the program. His primary concern was staffing. In his previous contract, the management company had hired the Program Director. He wanted to know if it was better for WCA to hire the employees, or the hospital.
Simple question, and unfortunately not a simple answer. One of WCA’s strengths is that we are able to customize our approach to the needs and goals of each individual partner, so we can provide either option, however, we prefer to assist the hospital in locating, training, and hiring their own staff, that way they truly own their program. There are pros and cons to both approaches.
First a little background, initially the thought of hiring staff made a company more “sticky” to the hospital. If the management company owned the staff, hyperbaric chambers, and all of the documentation, canceling the contract in effect meant that your hospital “lost” it’s wound center. We at WCA, feel this is plain wrong. (Rule #6)
When a program director is hired by a hospital, their allegiance is clear and a management company becomes a great resource to help them do their job. The down side, is that they may not be incentivized to act upon all of the management companies suggestions and that company has little leverage in implementing what they feel needs to be done. If the management company hires a program director, though there are clear benefits for the hospital; reduced cost possibly, and the benefit of having a trained specialist running your program, that Director will be marching to two different drummers. Their check is signed by the management company, yet they are a director of a hospital department. The interests of the management company may receive a little more focus than the hospital, and with such scrutiny from RAC auditors and CMS reviews, it is necessary now more than ever for your team to all be aligned when it comes to process, billing and compliance.
There are certain CMS regulations that also govern which employees can be hired by a management company based on the site of service, so careful attention must also be paid to the local regulations when making this descision.
WCA helps find and train the best candidates for these positions and the hospital hires them. I feel that this arrangement works best for a few reasons.First, it meets the criteria of our rule #3, “Hospitals Should Control Their Own Destiny”. A hospital has control when all of the employees are their own. Second, we have an exceptional HR department headed up by Christi Donsanouphit that helps hospitals in managing their team from competencies, training and reviews, to employee updates and performance tracking through e-wound. Third, all interests are aligned; as a management company we are focused on optimizing your clinical and financial outcomes, the team is responsible to the hospital, and the hospital is able to retain the revenue it’s team earns. like Charlie, we are all “winning.”