Tag Archives: Peter Fine

fine

CEO leads Banner Health through healthcare ‘re-invention’

Around the first of the year, Phoenix-based Banner Health is expected to close on a nearly $1 billion deal to acquire the University of Arizona Health Network and its subsidiaries. The deal will make Banner the largest private employer in the state, will pump least $500 million of spending on capital projects into the state’s economy of the the next five years and will pay of UAHN’s long-term debt, which totals about $146 million. Az Business sat down with Peter Fine, Banner’s president and CEO, to talk about the impact of the acquisition and the state of the healthcare industry.

Az Business: How have you been able to grow Banner through all the uncertainty in the healthcare industry?
Peter Fine: We have a lot of smart people at Banner. There is good leadership. There is good strategic thinking. There is great accountability. There is great discipline. There is great focus. It’s an organization that plans the work and works the plan.

AB: Hw have you been able to instill the discipline needed for growth?
PF: It’s a leadership culture. It’s an organization that strives to achieve, decides what it needs to get it done, throws a lot of resources at it to get t done and has leaders who feel accomplished when they achieve.

AB: Banner bought Casa Grande Medical Center last year when it was facing major financial issues. How were you able to turn it around so quickly?
PF: In this day and age of healthcare, there are a lot of pressures on healthcare organizations. Pressures are caused by a highly complicated environment, things are very ambiguous and it’s not always clear what to do. When you’re trying to respond to that kind of environment, which is an industry that’s trying to re-invent itself, that puts enormous pressure on individual organizations to maintain financial stability, high clinical quality and have the resources needed to invest in those things needed to re-invent yourself. Banner is able to spread fixed overhead over a big base. In a situation where an industry is re-inventing itself, you have to make investments — financial investments, people investments, resources , capital investments  — and that becomes hard to do when it’s an industry that’s having its reimbursement environment restricted. So it becomes even more important to find ways to spread that fixed overhead investment over a big base to bring down your costs for services. Casa Grande recognized the reality of today’s world and its position in today’s world and believed that working with Banner would provide advantages for the community by creating a more stable environment.

AB: How does that business relationship impact patient care?
PF: We have a care model that we like to put in place. We have an electronic environment that has has been very beneficial in improving outcomes. Our ability to provide capabilities that some of the more rural hospitals could never have one their own leads to an enhanced clinical environment.

AB: How is consolidation helping the healthcare industry?
PF: Consolidation is doing multiple things. 1) It’s letting organizations grow and spread fixed overhead over a big base. 2) It’s allowing organizations to make investments that they might not otherwise be able to make because it can bring financial stability. 3) It allows us to get into new ways of providing business, so the Banner Health Network was created to allow us to get into value-based care and population health management. If we didn’t have all the infrastructure of Banner Health, it would be impossible to provide that capability. It offers new options to the public. It offers new options to businesses, where they can contract for services and bring down their cost-per-unit of service because it’s based on our ability to manage care. At the end of the day, it’s going to be very, very hard to get a whole lot more improvement on the acquisition of product to bring down your costs. There’s only so far you can go on managing labor and still provide a reasonable product. The next great effort to reduce the cost of healthcare is to manage care better, which means you have to have techniques and capabilities in place to look at the cost of care and decide what is really necessary in the provision of care and where can you reduce the use of services, especially for chronic care patients. If you coordinate care better, you’re going to use services better, as opposed to an environment where there is no coordination, duplication of services, duplication of testing and there is more cost associated with that. So this whole issue of providing people with the right care at the right time at the right place is really what the coordination of care is all about, what value-based care is all about and what risk assumption of care is all about. From our perspective, if you can organize yourself structurally to do that, you then have an opportunity to be far more competitive, especially with organizations that are putting more and more of the costs onto the consumer through co-payments, deductibles and reductions of coverage. Therefore, we are moving into consumer world where people are going to make decisions on how they purchase healthcare far differently than they’ve made those decisions before. It’s going to be based on where they can get the best value for the dollar that they’re spending.

AB: What do you expect from Round 2 of healthcare exchange enrollment?
PF: Some of the insurers provided an unsustainable price for the product they were trying to provide, so I think some of those prices are going to go up. I think there will be continued growth in the exchanges, partly because I think employers are going to start making different decisions on their coverage within their employee population.

AB: What’s been the impact of the Medicaid expansion?
PF: I can tell you I think it’s been a boon for the state. We’ve seen a significant impact. It’s had its desired effect. We’ve had a decrease of uninsured an increase of Medicaid-insured population as well as people on exchanges. But remember, a population like Medicaid pays of 63 cents or 65 cents on the dollar of full cost. That means we are still cross-subsidizing off of some other category. But it is taking that category where there was no reimbursement at all and and making that category smaller. The best thing is that the part paid for by the federal government is only going to go up. 17 percent down to 10 percent.

AB: How do you hope the acquisition of the University of Arizona Health Health Network will impact the business side Banner Health?
PF: It’s a big acquisition and a complicated acquisition. Part of the goal is to help stabilize an academic environment which is beneficial to the state, but another part of the goal is growing Banner’s presence in other markets and build our state-wide presence for various contracting opportunities later on. It has the potential to be highly beneficial and we will be the primary teaching relationship for the two medical schools. We think we can help stabilize some of the issue around academic medicine and the clinical environment surrounding academic medicine. For us, it links us to a research and academic environment that we think will enhance the work that we do.

AB: How do you hope the purchase of the University of Arizona Health Health Network will impact the cutting-edge research already being done at Banner Health?
PF: It’s going to grow the research base of Banner. Today, Alzheimer’s is the biggest focus for us from a research perspective. As we move into a more direct environment with the medical schools, we are going to find other opportunities to invest significantly into this world of research as it pertains to the clinical environment. You’re going to see us make more investment in the clinical research side. I know there are folks at UA who love the idea of having access to the totality of Banner’s database, which can advance the research cause of the medical school.

AB: How does research fit into your mission and goals for Banner Health?
PF: Research has not been a priority in the past. It has been driven mostly by specific physician interest. When we acquired the Sun Health system in 2008, we acquired the Sun Health Research Institute, so that pushed some of our thinking. Clearly, our Alzheimer’s Institute has been a major area of focus. With this new relationship, I think you’re going to see a growing effort to be more involved in research, but specifically clinical research to improve patient outcomes and devise strategies to improve population health management.

AB: Which of Banner Health’s accomplishments give you the most pride?
PF: I came to Banner 14 months after the creation of the organization. (Editor’s note: Banner Health was created on Sept. 1, 1999, when nonprofits Samaritan Health System and Lutheran Health Systems announced their merger). Part of the job when was came was respecting history, but not being controlled by it. The goal was to take the historical essence and cultures of two organizations and create a new one. That can be very risky because people are very proud of their historical base. I’m not a retrospective thinker, I’m a prospective thinker. But if I had to say what I’m most proud of, it’s that we’ve been able to get Banner to look to the future, to not hold onto its historical past, recognize that this is an industry in turmoil that’s being re-invented and get people to focus on where we are going.

AB: How did you make that happen?
PF: Thirteen years ago, we created “Banner’s 2020 Vision,” which has been Banner’s guide since that period of time. It’s a 20-year-game plan to re-invent the organization. Some would say, “That’s really bold. You’re going to produce a 20-year game plan to direct your organization for that long a period of time?” We did and it has been a guiding reference tool for us for all the things we do — for strategies that we have, for tactics that we implement, the way we focus people, the way we pay people. It has been an overriding influence on the company’s direction and approach for dealing with an industry in turmoil. Without this guide, Banner could have been an organization that fell off the cliff. Instead of that happening, we’ve been able to bring together two cultures and get them to ficus on the future and it’s been one of Banner’s hallmark successes.

Sun Health

Banner Health earns national recognition

Banner Health is one of the top performing health systems in the U.S. based on quality outcomes, patient care and efficiency, according to Truven Health Analytics, a leading health care analysis firm.

Truven, formerly the health care business of Thomson Reuters, found that Banner Health has higher survival rates, few complications and system-wide clinical excellence, and ranked the hospital system in the top 15 highest performing hospital systems in the U.S. The Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems analyzed data from more than 300 organizations and singled out 15 hospital systems that achieved superior clinical outcomes based on a composite score of eight measures of quality, patient perception of care and efficiency.

Phoenix-based nonprofit Banner Health was named in the top five of large health systems with more than $1.5 billion in operating expenses. The study relied on public data from the 2010 and 2011 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets. Researchers from the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals program have analyzed and reported on the performance of individual hospitals since 1993.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that Banner Health has been chosen as a 2013 Top 15 Health System by Truven Analytics,” said Banner Health president and CEO Peter Fine. “This recognition of industry leadership for clinical quality is made all the more meaningful because this is the third year out of the past four that we have received this prestigious award. Clearly, we have been able to sustain our position as an industry leader.”

As a 2013 Truven Top 15 Health System, Banner Health was recognized for:
· Saving more lives and causing fewer patient complications,
· Following industry-recommended standards of care more closely,
· Making fewer patient safety errors,
· Releasing patients half a day sooner, and
· Scoring better on overall patient satisfaction.

“As health systems move further into health care reform, consistency of hospital and physician outcomes in every community served is the holy grail,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals® program at Truven Health Analytics. “Health system leaders’ effectiveness will be measured not solely on the performance of the whole system compared to other systems, but also on the leader’s ability to align the performance of the provider segments of the health system to achieve consistency. This new study begins to measure these aspects of performance.”

Joining Banner Health in the top five of large health systems include: Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill.; Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, Texas; OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio and Scripps Health, San Diego, Calif.

“We have been recognized with this distinction for three of the past four years,” added Dr. John Hensing, Banner Health’s executive vice president and chief medical officer. “This is an amazing accomplishment and testament to the continued emphasis and outstanding efforts of all staff to improve clinical quality and safety and provide an excellent patient experience.”

The Truven top five large health system ranking comes after Banner Boswell Medical Center, North Colorado Medical Center and McKee Medical Center were recognized by Truven as Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. for operational excellence.

Peter Fine President and CEO Banner Health

Peter Fine, Now CEO Of Banner Health, Drove A Taxi As His First Job

Peter Fine
President and CEO
Banner Health

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
Once I got past delivering newspapers as a little kid, my first job with significant responsibility was driving a taxicab outside of New York City. I did this starting the summer after high school, and did it for each year while in college, plus the year after college. It was 12-hour shifts, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week. Things learned included the value of hard work, and no matter what the job is you have a responsibility to do it right because someone is depending on you.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job in the health care industry was working as an administrative assistant in a small hospital and I had responsibility for the admitting department. What I learned was that frontline workers know a lot about what is going on, all you have to do is ask them.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
As a cab driver, I would make about $50 a day and as an administrative assistant, I made about $13,000 per year.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did he or she play?
I had three mentors who taught me lessons I actively use on a regular basis. Art Malasto was CEO of a hospital in Indiana, where I was an assistant administrator. He taught me that “visibility breeds credibility, credibility breeds trust, so if you wanted to be trusted, you have to be visible.” Gary Mecklenburg was a CEO at a hospital in Chicago, where I was a senior vice president. He taught me to “plan the work and work the plan.” In other words, you have to plan to know where you want to go, and you have to work the plan if you want to get there. It’s a simple concept that many times cannot be executed.Finally, Ed Howe, a health system president that I worked for in Milwaukee, taught me that to stay focused, you have to “tune out the static.” That lesson has helped me to stay focused on what needs to be done, no matter what else is going on around me.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
Make sure you have a passion for complexity and a high tolerance for ambiguity, and always remember that misery is optional.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I’d be coaching a 12-year-old soccer team or coaching a college lacrosse team.