Kudos to V. Clayton Sherman for his commentary "Wrong people for the job?" (Nov. 20, p. 28) in response to the Oct. 2 cover story examining the shortage of qualified top healthcare executives.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, healthcare became addicted to a fee-for-service Medicare cost reimbursement system that compensated providers for financial inefficiencies and/or costs resulting from substandard clinical outcomes. The healthcare delivery system has become a virtual bureaucratic subsidiary of HCFA, and healthcare leaders' willingness to accept that has brought healthcare delivery to its knees. Oppressive regulations offer no good incentives for a hospital to develop employee skills or the means to measure and manage its patients' clinical outcomes or improve relationships with its medical staff.
Healthcare leaders need to accept responsibility rather than blame universities, recruiters and more. But the present leaders do not have the mustard for the job. We all know the first thing to go in a bureaucratic culture is creative, courageous leadership.
R. Daniel King
King Healthcare Enterprises