A new chief executive officer will finish out the two-year turnaround under way at Gary, Ind.-based Methodist Hospitals.
But the incoming president and CEO will be a familiar face.
Claude Watts Jr., a director with the Brentwood, Tenn., consultants hired to shore up struggling Methodist, will succeed Edward Charbonneau, interim president and CEO of the two-campus system, who is expected to step down Aug. 13. Charbonneau, 64, who became Methodists interim CEO in May 2006, was recently elected as state senator for Indianas 5th District.
The 51-year-old Watts, one of six FTI Healthcare consultants acting as Methodist senior executives, has been the systems chief operations officer since November. Watts said turnover in the top office wont alter Methodists restructuring efforts, which have stabilized the systems slipping volumes and financial losses.
In March, Methodists board approved the consultants proposals, including expanded productivity improvement efforts and a significant investment in healthcare information technology, FTI Healthcare executives said. Close and increasingly frequent monitoring of productivity measures has curbed wait times and wiped out ambulance diversions in Methodists emergency rooms, according to Watts.
In recent years, the 624-bed system has grappled with fiscal losses and quality problems that prompted scrutiny by HHS inspector generals office, the Indiana State Department of Health and the Joint Commission (See: modernhealthcare.com, The Methodist Chronicles).
Methodist will spend roughly $24 million over two years to adopt a single healthcare IT system for its clinical, administrative and financial operations, said Alfred Mansfield, an FTI Healthcare managing director and Methodists chief financial officer.
Recent utilization and financial figures show the efforts have yielded results, executives said. Methodists slipping inpatient volume stabilized during the first seven months of 2007.
And the systems recently released audited 2006 financial figures show a solid rebound. Methodist reported an increase in unrestricted net assets of $19 million on revenue of $304 million after losing roughly $13.6 million off revenue of $296 million in 2005.
The 2006 gains included a $6.8 million gain from operations.
Watts said he named Clint Matthews, an FTI Healthcare managing director and Methodists chief implementation officer, to succeed him as chief operations officer.