Maggie Gill, Memorial Health President and CEO, entered her current position knowing that there were substantial difficulties with financial losses to address. These issues are partly attributable to Memorial’s status as a health care option for people with little or no assets. This is confirmed by statistics that indicate that one in every three treated patients cannot pay for the services they receive.
Additionally, Memorial is suffering under reductions in government reimbursements for a host of medical care and procedures. As the only safety net hospital in Georgia that does not receive local or special funding, Gill anticipates the losses to continue until they can take steps to stem the tide of financial loss.
To address this key issue, Maggie Gill announced a plan to restore Memorial Health to financial stability. Called Pathway to Excellence, Gill has designed and proposed a strategic plan to “achieve results over the next 6 to 18 months and prepare for future strategic opportunities.” This plan has already identified over $12.6 million dollars in savings and there is more on the horizon.
In spite of taking this aggressive stance, CEO Gill reports that the hospital requires a stable, fully-funded partner to return the institution to financial stability. The fact is that Memorial Health is simply required by its identity as a point of refuge for the poorest of society to expend resources of care, medical treatment, testing and rehabilitation that the patients are unable to afford.
Additional burdens of more recent date include Medicaid cuts related to the Affordable Care Act and inherited bad debt from high deductible insurance plans.
Gill is moving away from partnership plans that were tried in the past to regain solubility. Memorial Health invested two years in an effort to join the Novant Nealth Inc. partnership that would have provided $295 million to Memorial during the initial ten years of the partnership. After the time consumption of this effort and its eventual demise, Gill is focusing on internal, independent solutions. To this goal, she and the board are looking for avenues of savings, efficiency and service improvement such as reducing treatment complications and hospital infections.
In light of her intimate knowledge of all the problems besetting Memorial Health, Maggie Gill recognizes that they must pull the hospital through this rough period because they and their mission is critical to the community. She believes that with the support of the board and many creative minds set to the task, Memorial Health can find a way to become the prestigious, integrated health system that the region needs.