Name: Matt Troup
Hospital: Conway Regional Medical Center
Education: Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Texas A&M University; Master of Science Healthcare Administration, Trinity University
First job in health care: Volunteer, St. Joseph’s Hospital in College Station, Texas.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the health care industry in Arkansas today?
The future of Arkansas Works and expanded coverage. More Arkansans with coverage means more timely treatment of medical conditions and preventative care. Ultimately, that will reduce overall cost. That said, I believe we are nearing a critical juncture. Funding cuts – in Medicare predominately – have continued. Further reduction in coverage combined with reductions from other payers will have a significant, negative impact on our organizations.
What about next year? Five years from now?
1) Data. To effectively manage populations, we must become more adept at managing data. Being a rural state with a high number of private, non-profit organizations, we are challenged to provide the internal expertise to use data to thrive.
2) Moving from an inpatient orientation to outpatient.
3) Recruitment and retention of clinical staff – nurses and physicians specifically.
What impact has the opioid crisis had on Arkansas hospitals?
It is insidious. The challenge is in our ability to transition patients away from addiction. However, most of us are ill-equipped and under resourced to care for the patients who need ongoing care and treatment. We’ve seen an ever increasing number of patients whose addiction pulls them into desperate situations – out of the workforce, in poor health – and, thus, consuming more and more resources to treat.
How do elections impact the health care industry?
Healthcare is and will always be a hot topic politically and whatever milestone we believe we achieve (ACA for example) can drastically change in one or two election cycles. I firmly believe hospitals and health systems across the state – perhaps now more than ever – need to purposefully engage in our political process to ensure that the impact we have on our community continues to be strong and vibrant for the foreseeable future.
Has personnel shortage been an issue for your hospital? If so, how have you addressed it?
Yes. Our challenge is less with retention and more with competition of new talent. We have proactively partnered with the University of Central Arkansas to recruit nurses to our hospital. We have structured our benefit plan to grow in alignment with our values, increased our tuition reimbursement program, and implemented a clinical ladder program.