Boutros arrives at MetroHealth as it looks to chart a sustainable course for the future. As the county's safety-net hospital, MetroHealth's finances have been rattled in recent years by the dramatic increase in uncompensated care it provides, which has resulted in layoffs and steep budget cuts.
The health system hopes to finish 2013 with a $10 million profit, though it reported losing about $6.5 million over the first three months of the year.
During the interview with Crain's, Boutros wasn't in lockstep with all the plans for the health system's future developed by his predecessors.
Under a plan devised by Moran, for instance, MetroHealth hopes to buoy its finances in coming years by building a handful of community health centers.
The outpatient centers are expected to bring more commercially insured patients — and thus revenue — into MetroHealth's coffers in order to help offset the growing debt the system takes on by caring for the county's poorest residents. Its first new health center is expected to be completed in July in Middleburg Heights.
MetroHealth also has plans — again, developed under Moran — to pump as much as $650 million by 2017 into upgrading its aging main campus on West 25th Street in Cleveland. System officials have said in the past it would cost $435 million over the next five years to maintain its current facilities.
Boutros didn't completely toss out those strategies, but noted they likely would need to be tweaked.
“They have all the right pieces, but some of them go too far and some don't go far enough,” he said.
For one, he suggested he would be taking a hard look at the conceptual plans for the overhaul of the health system's main campus. He also said he would like to see the health system deliver care in person at people's homes or workplaces and through telemedicine, as many of the health system's low-income patients have transportation issues.
In a prepared statement, Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, the gubernatorial hopeful who recently voiced concerns about MetroHealth awarding bonuses to its executives, said Boutros “has impressive credentials, a dedication to help the most vulnerable and a commitment to the continued transformation of MetroHealth.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, also in a prepared statement, said, “I have met Akram Boutros and I found him to be the right person at the right time for this position and I look forward to working with him.”
Boutros moved to the U.S. from Egypt when he was 12. He is married and has three children. He earned his medical degree at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn. Boutros also graduated from Harvard Business School's advanced management program.
"MetroHealth names N.Y. healthcare consultant its next CEO" originally appeared on Crain's Cleveland Business.