Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with John Couris, President and Chief Executive Officer for Tampa General Hospital

John Couris serves as President and Chief Executive Officer for Tampa General Hospital. 

On April 1st, John will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and John's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

John Couris: I think folks outside the industry need to understand that health care does not operate like other goods and services when it comes to a free market economy. And while I staunchly believe in free market economics, the reality is that health care does not operate in this way. In a free market economy, prices, quality, and quantity of goods and services are determined by the open market and consumers. Also, the government imposes very little – if any – restrictions and regulations on the forces of supply and demand that drive the costs of goods and services.

Hospital pricing cannot be determined by a free market system because a hospital cannot set their own pricing for services. Additionally, hospital and health care pricing are incredibly complicated, and there is a scarcity of price information out there for consumers. There also tends to be a significant variety in pricing from provider to provider and cost does not always directly correlate to quality. And so, while I am a big believer in free market economics and know the positive effects it has on many sectors of our economy, free-market economics and deregulation simply don't work when it comes to health care.

Q: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

JC: One of my primary focuses in 2019 will be TGH’s new partnership with USF Health and the institution's private practice physicians’ group. This will allow us to build a new clinical platform and physicians’ collaborative designed to strengthen health care for the Tampa Bay region and beyond.

Q: Can you share some praise with us about people you work with? What does greatness look like to you when it comes to your team?

JC: I work with an incredible team of professionals who go above and beyond every day. They are kind and dedicated caregivers who give 110% 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They embrace our shared goal of providing world-class care to our patients and families and that shows in all they do. To me, greatness on my team is exemplified by their unique ability to operate without ego, care for their colleagues and put patient care first.

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