As employees learned Wednesday of Nebraska Medical Center CEO Glenn Fosdick's retirement, they also learned that the hospital, the Bellevue Medical Center and UNMC Physicians are forming a single enterprise.
The goal, officials said, is a more nimble organization that can react to the changing health care landscape.
Each entity now has its own administration — board of directors and chief executive officer. Under the new leadership structure, a single board will oversee the operations of the new, as-yet-unnamed organization.
Until a person is selected to serve as president and chief executive officer of the new entity, the combined hospitals and physicians group will be led by Dr. Brad Britigan, who will serve as interim president, and Bill Dinsmoor, who will be interim chief executive officer.
Once the organization comes together, Britigan said, officials will conduct a national search for “a well-trained physician with academic health science center experience who obviously has the business background and experience to operate a very complex health care system like this.”
Britigan now serves as the dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine. Dinsmoor is the Nebraska Medical Center's chief financial officer. Britigan will continue in the dean's role, but Dinsmoor will not remain CFO.
Paulette Davidson, CEO of Bellevue Medical Center, and Cory Shaw, CEO of UNMC Physicians, will lose their CEO titles but will continue as the chief administrators of their respective organizations.
The three entities expect to begin officially operating as one on July 1 of next year.
In the past, Britigan said, “the physicians and the administrators have not always been in the same room, making the same decisions simultaneously or with the same goals and incentives before them.” By creating a “physician-led and professionally managed organization,” he said, “the idea is to draw on the expertise of multiple groups who can all come together to provide patient-centered, highest-quality care at the lowest cost possible.”
UNMC, which is a state-run university, and the new organization will remain separate but become better integrated, officials said.
At many academic medical centers around the country, Shaw said, the only physicians who can be on staff are those who have appointments at the medical school. That hasn't been and won't be the case, he said.
However, in order to be part of the staff, he said “there's an expectation that you're going to share clinical data so we can begin to evaluate our performance and look systematically at how we improve our performance.” The new alignment enables such data sharing, which hasn't been possible under the old structure, he said.
Dinsmoor said the goal is to improve patients' health-care experience. “We're going to create a system in which people will have immediate access to a provider. On the back end, from a patient standpoint, we will have one bill (not separate ones from each doctor and the hospital). That is the goal.”