The HealthSouth way
Your editorial "The Scrushy complex" (Sept. 9, p. 24) was on target and a powerful reminder of the inherent organizational weakness that is bred under cult leadership.
I had the misfortune to work for HealthSouth Corp. for several months after the rehabilitation company I worked for was purchased and merged into Scrushy's organization.
From the start, the HealthSouth operatives assigned to my central Kentucky hospital talked endlessly of their leader's brilliance and wisdom. All the while, they ignored our experience and insight in the operation of rehabilitation services and the issues affecting our local operation. Our many years of profitability and operational success meant nothing to them.
In one of our earliest meetings I was struck with their insistence that HealthSouth wasn't concerned with validating a patient's admission with the federally mandated list of rehabilitation diagnoses. They indicated we could clean that up later during the Medicare audits, so they weren't overly concerned with the requirement. That wasn't the way HealthSouth ran inpatient rehabilitation. Their focus, and my job, was to find patients and fill beds the HealthSouth way.
So they did, and their organization and its employees will pay the price.
Director of business development
Johnson Memorial Hospital
Neodyme a black eye
Thank you for the excellent article "In need of repairs" (Aug. 19, p. 30) detailing the Neodyme Technologies Corp. bankruptcy. Having been involved in this business for more than 12 years, I believe reporter Jeff Tieman hit the nail right on the head.
Neodyme would make often incredible maintenance savings proposals, usually an automatic 25% to 30%, to hospital executives facing increased cost pressures. These Neodyme sales proposals did not acknowledge that many hospitals had already taken strategic steps to reduce and manage service costs. Some Neodyme accounts have stated that they knew Neodyme would lose money because there was little to no fat left to trim.
Because of these dramatic and unrealistic proposals, many competitive companies, including in-house services, were not considered. Neodyme's eventual collapse, like any business growing unprofitable revenue, was expected. Neodyme simply quit paying the vendors, although the hospitals had already paid Neodyme. To get service, hospitals had to pay a second time directly to the vendor.
The Neodyme debacle has given the industry a black eye.
Director of sales, eastern region
Genesis Technology Partners
Article missed ACHE growth
The headline on your article on the American College of Healthcare Executives "ACHE had a tough year" (Aug. 26, p. 9) was highly misleading. The ACHE did not experience a "tough" year in 2001. In fact, from an operational perspective, 2001 was a good year for the college. We grew in membership, had strong educational program attendance and experienced a record year in publication sales, which contributed to our 4% growth in revenue. In addition, we initiated an effort to create chapters to better meet our members' needs on the local level.
The ACHE's loss was due only to a weak stock market. Like most other individuals and organizations, our investments took a hit last year.
President, chief executive officer
American College of Healthcare Executives
I read your article on the "100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare" (Aug. 26, p. 6) with some interest. So I am curious, if nurses have become important and noticed, why did you not note the nurses on the list with the designation "RN?" I noticed that you did so for the physicians.
Scott Chisholm Lamont
Specialty nurse III, adjunct clinical lecturer
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Editor's note: Because of the widely varying levels of training and education among RNs, Modern Healthcare does not use that courtesy title.