Health Care Magazine October 2018

Gary Paxson – Hospital CEOs

Gary Paxson


Name: Gary Paxson, Successor CEO

Hospital: White River Health System

Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Anthony College of Nursing in
Rockford, Ill. Master of Science in Information System Management – Healthcare Administration

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the health care industry in Arkansas today?
The transformation of health care from illness-driven care to an environment of wellness in an environment of increasing cost and declining reimbursement is a challenge for every health care organization. Today hospitals are accountable for more than the care provided in our facilities. We connect our patients to programs and services needed to achieve their best possible state of health.

Why is that the biggest issue?
Most importantly, because improving the health of the patients we serve is the right thing to do. A healthier community drives down the cost of health care and creates a more productive community. The challenge to health care organizations is to improve the patient experience, improve the health of our community and to reduce cost of providing care.

What are some of the most significant financial challenges facing hospitals today?
Due to the shift in health care, reimbursement is measured differently than in previous years. Reimbursement for hospitals is shifting from being paid for the services they provide to how well that service was provided. WRHS sets PRIDE standards of behavior in place to ensure we excel in the quality of care we provide. All employees are focused on exceeding expectations in prompt service, respect, involved, demeanor and environmental service. Our standards provide a culture that is focused on our patients, as well as, a basis for meeting quality measures. We are proud to have elevated our hospital to a CMS rated four-star facility.

How are embracing risk and innovation?
WRHS participates in a number of programs such as Bundle Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI), Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH), to prepare us to go at risk. We are changing our mindset from reactive to proactive and taking advantage of the many advancements in technology: daVinci X robotic assisted surgery for general, gynecological, and urology surgery, robotic-arm assisted orthopedic surgery and telemedicine. The more resources we have at our fingertips, the better care we can provide to patients.

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