Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

November 9, 2017

I'm intrigued by the concept of the "maverick". The synonyms for this word includes nonconformist and rebel. This statement has been used to describe me and Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics. We're "mavericks!" in rural healthcare. I like to think we don't cotton to the conventional. We like to see other ways of providing healthcare ... actually improving health as opposed to only treating illness. Our vision includes the words "example" and "benchmark". This sometimes pushes us beyond our comfort zone.

"So why? I realize, Steve, that you like change, but why do you push us beyond? Are you bored or something??" Good question. I am not bored. A professor I had in my first year of grad school said that the number one charge or responsibility we had in healthcare is to survive. This was in 1987, and it is more true today than ever before. In just the last few days, we've had one of the three Medicaid providers in the state announce they were exiting the Iowa market. Iowa is down to one insurance company offering individual insurance. The healthcare marketplace is being tossed around, and the foundation of how to pay is (to say the least) shaky at best. 

Going forward the only way I can see out is to reinvent ourselves. Shake off the fear, reapply the lipstick and get out there. This could mean marketing ourselves differently (social media), this could mean comparing ourselves against lean healthcare organizations, and questioning whether we should or need to do everything we are doing ... this could mean ...

The key to our success is that we stick together and challenge the status quo. Recently, the World Series had the Houston Astros winning it all. In 2014, Sports Illustrated said that because of the way the Astros put together their team, they would win the 2017 World Series. It was hard to believe in 2014 that the Astros would achieve this success, but because they stuck together and challenged conventional thought, they not only persevered,they wildly succeeded. They won. If we stick together, we will not only survive these challenging times, we will wildly succeed.

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