Personnel changes are again afoot at the American Hospital Association.
Less than two weeks after the AHA created its latest for-profit company, one of its top executives resigned. The editorial headquarters of the weekly AHA News will move to Washington from Chicago, and the AHA will lay off 11 of the 12 employees in its Chicago-based Trend Analysis Group-all by year-end.
In the first instance, Deborah Frett announced her resignation Sept. 10 as chief operating officer of the newly created Health InfoSource, said AHA spokesman Richard Wade.
Frett, a 20-year AHA employee based in Chicago, resigned to pursue other opportunities, Wade said.
Frett's date of departure and future plans are unknown, and she could not be reached for comment.
She had been president of the AHA's data subsidiary until it merged Sept. 1 with the AHA's publishing company and San Francisco-based Healthcare Forum to create Health InfoSource (Aug. 31, p. 2).
Wade said legal documents creating Health InfoSource will be filed by the end of the month
Another change involves moving AHA News' editorial operation to Washington-because that's where much of its news is created, Wade said.
Some of its Chicago staff will move to Washington to work with reporters there. The eight-page newspaper also will hire a Washington-based executive editor. The position is a new one.
The AHA also will lay off 11 of the 12 employees of its Chicago-based Trend Analysis Group, which produces healthcare data and analyses used by AHA lobbyists and shared with association members and the media.
Among those being laid off is Joe Martin, an 18-year veteran who is an AHA vice president and heads the Trend Analysis Group, Wade said.
After the group is phased out, the AHA will buy data from outside sources. The remaining employee from the group will help coordinate those efforts.
Wade said purchasing data from outside sources rather than expanding in-house efforts makes more financial sense in the wake of growing demand for data by AHA members.
"We know we'll save money," he said without providing a figure.
Outside data sources also will give the AHA access to a broader range of information, Wade said. One source the AHA plans to use is Fairfax, Va.-based Lewin Group, he added.
One of the Trend Analysis Group's projects is the quarterly Emerging Trends report on community hospital finances, utilization and staffing, which is based on monthly hospital surveys.
The surveys and subsequent reports will be assumed by a state hospital association, Wade said. However, he declined to name the association because the deal has not been completed.