CEO of Bon Secours Mercy Health: 'We're not going to be afraid to be disruptive'

Maia Anderson - Print  | 

John Starcher, president and CEO of Bon Secours Mercy Health, shared advice on leadership with fellow health system leaders in an interview with Rhonda Weiss, PhD, a national healthcare consultant, at the Becker's Hospital Review CEO + CFO Roundtable in Chicago.

Mr. Starcher began by talking about the recent merger of Bon Secours and Mercy Health and the lessons he learned about expanding a health system.

"I think a lot of organizations make the mistake that they believe you're stronger just because you're bigger," Mr. Starcher said. "Well, if you're bigger and you don't truly integrate, then it doesn't make a lot of sense to be bigger and there isn't a lot of good that comes from being bigger."

He also discussed the importance of working methodically to ensure health system leaders consider every aspect of a deal and work quickly but effectively.

"At the end of the day, I firmly believe that as CEOs we're paid to make big and important decisions and we ought to be able to guide our board to the right decisions," Mr. Starcher said.

Mr. Starcher also discussed a hot topic in the healthcare industry: surprise billing. He stressed that he believes taking steps to end surprise building is important, but it is vital that those steps don't drive providers out of business.

"We have got to fundamentally find a solution that can take away that catastrophic bill that a patient can't afford to pay out of the scenario, but yet not devastate our hospitals and rural community providers that have to provide 24/7, 365 care," Mr. Starcher said.

The interview concluded with Mr. Starcher giving his predictions for the future of Bon Secours Mercy Health.

"We're going to design a model where we're going to be much more nimble than the typical large nonprofit, set aside the typical large faith-based system, in that we're not going to be afraid to make important decisions, we're not going to be afraid to be disruptive, we're not going to be afraid to take risks."

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