St. Joseph Medical Center: A story of a hospital turnaround.
Only four years ago, St. Joseph Medical Center was on life-support. When Interim CEO Jodi Fincher arrived in 2016, she was handed a $101-million loss in revenues from the previous year. Profitability was at an all-time low, as was the reputation of the hospital.
But new owner Prime Healthcare has a history of turning community hospitals around, and St. Joseph Medical Center is a case study in how a Catholic hospital can stay a Catholic hospital –flourishing financially without losing its Catholic Identity.
This month, St. Joseph Medical Center was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as one of the “Fast 50,” which names the top 50 fastest growing private companies in KC. Recipients were selected based on average annual revenue growth between 2016 and 2018. St. Joseph Medical Center was ranked #7. Fincher was also honored in the publication’s “Women Who Mean Business” awards, acknowledging exceptional area businesswomen for the past 20 years. Fincher, a former nurse, credits the hospital’s turnaround on a combination of cost-cutting measures, adherence to clinical best practices, growth, and a hands-on, “lean C-suite” Prime Healthcare business model that she embraces.
“Nothing happens in the hospital that our senior leadership team is not acutely and immediately aware of. When an issue needs to be fixed, and there’s nobody else to deploy, we will deploy ourselves. Whether approving a new blanket warmer so patients are comfortable, or hiring a new physician to expand our services, every decision comes down to serving our patients, employees and our community.”
After only three years, Fincher has seen St. Joseph’s revenue reach $714.6 million. “We continue to move forward and are laser-focused on growth, quality care, and our community,” Fincher says. “We don’t settle for best practices; we go beyond them.”
As proof, the hospital has received numerous industry-wide awards and recognitions in the past few years, including awards for its new comprehensive Senior Care Services program that includes a senior-friendly emergency room, $1.6 million, 23-bed inpatient program, and an outpatient senior clinic. Since acquisition Prime has infused over 40 million in capital improvements which included state-of-the-art radiology equipment, new windows, updated telemetry monitoring system, new call light system, and all new hospital beds.
“To better meet the special needs of our seniors, we combined state-of-the-art technology and world-class expertise along with a little common sense and compassion,” says Fincher.
Hospital board members admit they were deeply concerned in 2016, but at last month’s board meeting, the results were obvious. “We were so pleased to hear of the new needed changes in the hospital,” says board member, Sister Helen Flemington. “The administration, doctors, nurses and all employees have turned around every aspect of St. Joseph Medical Center. In a word, we are strong.”
Other awards and improvements since Prime Healthcare acquired St. Joseph included:
• Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award 2019
• Named among the top 5% in the Nation for Patient Safety in 2019
• Named among the 5% in the nation for Coronary Intervention Procedures in 2019
• Healthgrades five-star recipient for treatment of stroke 2019
• Hospital Compare Top 5 KC Hospital for treating severe sepsis and septic shock
• Center of Medicare and Medicaid 4 Star Rating
Today, Fincher is also focusing on increasing surgical volume, adding clinics to serve more members of the community, and even looking to reopen the obstetrics facility. “St. Joseph is one of only two Catholic hospitals left in Kansas City that are fully sponsored by the diocese,” Fincher says. “Our mandate continues to be World-Class Healthcare with a servant heart.”