Q&A with Jake Erickson, CEO of Bingham Memorial Hospital

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Q&A with Jake Erickson, CEO of Bingham Memorial Hospital

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 19, 2019
From the November 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Nursing shortage is also still a big thing. We run into that same issue because there’s three or four other hospitals within 40 to 50 miles of us and everybody is competing for the same staff.
Pharmaceutical cost is another big issue, because those costs continue to rise and we can’t do much about it because we need those medications, but reimbursements don’t follow.

HCB News: Do you anticipate any kind of big shift in services or patient types you serve in the next five to 10 years?

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JE: I don’t know if there will be a big shift. We might take care of more of certain diseases, because as the population continues to get older, there’s more of the chronic care management.
I think if it was going to shift to anything, it would be to prevention and chronic care management instead of the episodic care; coming to the ER and dealing with those types of diseases in an acute setting versus working in an ambulatory setting. I see the shift going that way and working to prevent the problems from happening, and managing chronic illnesses in different ways.

HCB News: For a potential patient not familiar with your facility, what message would you want to convey to them?
JE: Our tagline is “Experience Bingham.” What that means is you’ve probably had all kinds of experiences in healthcare from very good to very bad. At Bingham, we feel we provide a service that’s personal, comforting . . . that you’re not running through a chute like a bunch of cattle, but you’re a person, a patient, a family member.

HCB News: What do you think are the biggest problems in healthcare today and if you had the power, how would you fix them?
JE: I think one of the biggest problems is the fact that there’s a portion of the healthcare sector that is run for profit. I think some of that obviously brings a different approach to taking care of a patient. Taking care of patients in their most vulnerable state is a calling rather than seeing how many CPT codes we can build out of that. Healthcare has gone away from being a community supported facility to a true business that’s quite frankly traded on Wall Street.

There’s also too many cooks in the kitchen – what people in Washington think should happen, what people in the individual states think should happen, what the insurance company, or Medicare thinks you should do . . . it takes some of the power away from hospital staff to do what they think is best for the patient. If we can remove some of that and get the power back to those who are trained and working in the field in order to help people, we’ll be in much better shape.

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