Hospital chief executive officers named financial challenges -- such as unpaid medical bills or Medicaid reimbursements -- as the biggest headache in healthcare for 2004, according to an annual survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Of the 480 CEOs who responded to the October membership survey, 71% ranked financial challenges as one of their top three concerns. Another 36% named care for the uninsured among their three leading worries. Thirty-three percent named workforce shortages in the top three, a sharp drop from 58% in 2003 and 71% in 2002. Thomas Dolan, ACHE president and chief executive officer, said workforce shortages remain a pressing issue, despite fewer CEOs reporting a tight labor market as a leading concern. Rather, mounting financial concerns overshadowed personnel problems in 2004, he said. Registered nurses topped the executives' list of critical labor shortages; 87% listed demand for registered nurses as the most pressing shortage, followed by imaging technicians at 66%, and pharmacists at 54%. -- by Melanie Evans
Hospital CEOs name biggest headaches
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