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Case Study Analysis of

Faith Community Hospital

Chris Smith received a promotion to executive assistant to the chief executive officer at Faith Community Hospital. On Chris’s first day as executive assistant his boss, Pat, the CEO of Faith Community Hospital, meets with Chris to discuss, what the hospital does and some of the problems that the hospital is having. At the end of the meeting, Pat asks Chris to prepare a report that covers three areas what is going on right now, what they can do about it, and what they should do about it.

In the beginning of the meeting, Pat gives Chris some background information on the hospital, Pat’s position, and the company’s mission statement. Pat is the CEO of the hospital and reports directly to the Board of Directors of the Faith Foundation, whose diversity provides many different ways of thinking and decision-making. Although the hospital has a mission statement it seems like very few people are following it now a days, everybody has interpreted the mission statement to suit his or her needs. This is where the problems begin to occur.

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Faith Community is a non-profit organization designed to provide care to people from all lifestyles, but because of a growing number of problems, they have to re-evaluate how the actual running of the hospital and how the patients are being treated. With the diversity in thinking and decision-making, this is no easy task. Pat’s job is to figure out what is going wrong and how they can fix it and report these solutions to the Board of Directors.

The first problem that Faith Community Hospital faces is the treatment the patients are receiving or the lack of treatment they are receiving. Because Faith Community is a religious based hospital sometimes individual’s personal beliefs can get in the way. Some medical personnel are refusing to administer certain procedures due to their beliefs, while some patients refuse certain procedures because of their beliefs. Currently the hospital faces the chance of charges being pressed from Child Protective Services, who allege that the hospital failed to provide services to the child. Do Not Resuscitate orders are not being followed or are being ignored because of how certain staff members feel, as well as the family members.

The second problem that Faith Community Hospital faces is staff members providing free health care to people who cannot afford it without authorization and others not treating people unless they can prove that they have insurance. One pharmacist is accepting payments so that people can afford their medications and another resident is ordering unnecessary exams for terminally ill patients. The insurance aspect of this problem leads into the third problem.

The third problem that Faith Community hospital faces is the insurance issue. Each insurance company decides who is covered, how much and when the hospital is paid. This problem is totally out of the hospitals plans, but is still viewed as a major problem. All of these things can increase the amount of money the hospital is putting out and can decrease the amount of money the hospital is making, which leads to the third problem.

The fourth problem that the hospital faces is that their premium costs are increasing each year rather than decreasing. A year ago, the cost per patient was $17.00 per a day, while this year the average cost per patient is $40.00 per day. The hospital has had a 7% decrease in patients over the year and unless they can increase the number of patients that they are seeing, then the hospital will have to do make some cost reduction decisions.

Now that we know what problems the hospital faces we must come up with some possible solutions to these problems. These solutions may or may not be the correct decisions, but they will help to lead to the final decision. By brainstorming a variety of ideas, we can see what solutions can possibly solve the problem as well as look at the pros and cons of each possible solution.

One possible solution to the problem of the lack of treatment patients are receiving would be to discuss it with the entire hospital staff. Patients should be the ones who decide what treatments do not wish to receive. If the patient does not wish to receive a certain treatment than they should not receive it, but just because it goes against the doctor’s beliefs the patients should not suffer. Another possible solution is to write a new policy and procedures handbook that states patients are to receive the proper medical treatment regardless of a doctor’s or nurse’s personal beliefs. By stating this in writing if, hospital personnel refuses to administer treatment because of personal beliefs that staff member can receive a written notice in their personnel folder.

Just because you talk to personnel does not mean that they will follow the orders, nor by writing it down in the policy book does it ensure that the orders will be followed. However, what must be made clear to the doctors and nurses is that they are under oath to provide medical services to all patients requesting them. The advantage of speaking to the doctors and nurses about this problem is that you can receive their feedback and let them know why this change needs to happen. They will not feel left out and in the dark about what is going on

A possible solution to the second problem of providing free health care without authorization is to speak with that doctor and find out what exactly is going on. Offering free health care is not a bad thing, but when it is at the expense of the hospital, the hospital should be notified. Perhaps in speaking with the doctor a compromise can be reached to where he can offer his services on a sliding scale, instead of providing free services. This way the hospital is not losing money, nor are they turning away patients because they cannot afford the bills.

Turning away patients just because they do not have insurance is pretty much against the mission statement of the hospital. Hospitals are there to provide medical services to all lifestyles regardless of whether they have insurance or not. One way that the hospital can help to stop this is to post a sign saying, “No patient will be turned away for lack of insurance.” Another way to help with this program is to provide sliding scales based on the person’s income level, or provide special financing arrangements to where the patient can make payments monthly at a rate that they can afford.

There is little that the hospital can do about the third problem. The insurance companies control when and how much the hospital will be paid, as well as whom those insurance companies are going to cover. However, for those people who do not have insurance the hospital can employ people from social services to try to qualify the patients for Medicaid and Medicare, but for those people who do not qualify the hospital can still provide special financing programs to help the patients.

With the increase of costs for the running of the hospital, the hospital needs to increase the amount of patients that they see daily. One-way to help increase the amount of patients is to not turn away any patients, regardless of if they have insurance or not. By turning away those patients that do not have insurance the hospital is losing money, as well as losing patients. Another way to help increase the number of patients is to become a charitable hospital; to do this the hospital needs to offer services on a sliding scale basis. By offering medical care on a sliding scale more people can afford routine treatments, so more patients will want to receive care. Since the amount of patients is never guaranteed, the hospital will still have to make some cost-reduction decisions, just not as big of a reduction.

The overall solution to most of these problems is to revise the policy procedures handbook for all employees. By having, the procedures clearly stated and defined in the handbook employees will not get confused over the interpretation. It needs to be clearly stated that only the patients can turn down medical procedures due to personal beliefs. Doctors cannot refuse to perform medical services on a patient because of personal beliefs, also needs to be clearly stated in the handbooks. Employees who do not follow the rules will receive a written notice in their personal files, and risk the chance of being asked to find another place to practice.

By having a general staff meeting, all of these new policies can be talked over and personnel can voice their opinions about what they feel will work and what will not. The issues that need to be discussed at the meeting is the turning away of non-insured patients, it needs to stop so that the hospital can increase the amount of patients they see each day, which in turn will help cover the increase in costs. Another issue that needs to be discussed at this meeting is creating sliding scale program to help patients afford medical care. The sliding scale will be based on each individual patient’s income level, by offering affordable health care the hospital can still make money on each patient to help cover the overhead costs the hospital incurs for the patients. Another program that needs to be discussed is a special financing program for uninsured patients. This program will offer patients the chance to finance their balance and make monthly payments. By financing the balance the hospital can add on interest to the overall balance, which will help pay for the employees needed to create this kind of department. The final issue that needs to be discussed at this meeting is employing people from social services. By having these people onsite they can immediately help uninsured patients apply for Medicaid or Medicare. If the patients qualify than they are covered by the state, and the hospital will be reimbursed for the services that they provide which will help with the hospitals increasing premiums, by taking patients away from using the hospitals insurance.

Overall Faith Community Hospital is not in bad shape, a few minor problems need to be solved to get the hospital back on its feet and to help the hospital break even with their costs. By employing these special programs and revising the policies and procedures handbook, Faith Community Hospital can be providing quality health care to more people everyday and still afford to stay in business. These programs have worked well in other hospitals to offset the costs they incur and they can do the same for Faith Community Hospital.

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