'So much is new': ScionHealth launch presents wealth of opportunities, CFO says

Five months since the December 2021 launch of Louisville, Ky.-based ScionHealth, the new system has been presented with several learning opportunities as it focuses on a smooth transition into its own organization, CFO Joel Day told Becker's.

ScionHealth was created by Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health and Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare and consists of 79 hospital campuses in 25 states: 61 long-term acute care hospitals and 18 community hospitals. Mr. Day shared with Becker's the new system's progress since the launch.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for style and length.

Question: It's been a few months since the launch of the new system. How has the transition gone so far?  

Joel Day: Right now, we are just about five months in since ScionHealth was established, and it’s going well. So much is new within the organization — a new owner, a new community-based short-term acute care business model, new operating geographies and new teammates in key support and leadership roles. All of this presents ScionHealth with tremendous opportunities to learn, to develop a new healthcare system that brings together best-in-class expertise and experience in terms of clinical teams and operations quality and other key administrative talents to support successful care delivery in local communities.

Q: Can you describe your organization's strategy to ensure a smooth creation of the new system? 

JD: A first priority to our employees within the new organization was to be honest and transparent in sharing that most of their day-to-day activities will remain the same — our commitment to our patients, employees and local communities still drives daily activities. We also believe that routine, straightforward communication with all of our teammates is crucial to this seamless transition. We are taking time to understand what programs, systems and platforms will work best for ScionHealth, have communicated we’re not making any near-term changes, and will focus on leadership stabilization while leveraging the new organization’s project management skill set.      

Q: What are ScionHealth's top financial priorities for the new system? 

JD: Bringing together legacy platforms and systems from two organizations is providing opportunity for ScionHealth. Our initial financial priorities are to migrate to standard systems for reporting and analytics, utilize revenue cycle outsourcing expertise and technology to improve earnings and cash flow results and identify cost-saving and contracting opportunities by leveraging our size, scale and partnerships. Simultaneously, a top priority for our new company is to invest capital for organic growth opportunities and accretive mergers and acquisitions.    

Q: Are there any upcoming growth plans for ScionHealth? If so, can you share them?  

JD: We have been building a growth pipeline for ScionHealth for the past several months, using both local market operator intelligence and the extensive external relationships cultivated over the past many years. While not quite ready to share specifics at this time, we are very excited about the opportunities that exist and our team’s ability to execute on them.         

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