Idaho health system replaces top hospital leaders with dual COO-CNO role

As part of a restructuring effort, Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System will replace top administrators at five facilities with dual COO-CNO roles, according to an internal memo cited by The Idaho Statesman.

St. Luke's Health System eliminated site administrator positions in Nampa, McCall, Mountain Home, Ketchum and Jerome, all based in Idaho. To take their place, the organization will establish a dual COO-CNO role.

The COO-CNO "will be assuming interim responsibility for day-to-day operations, reporting to population health vice presidents," the memo to staff reads.

The dual COO-CNO role will become a staple in every facility, except for St. Luke's hospital in Boise, which will keep split leadership because the facility is much larger and more complex, according to the memo.

The decision to make a dual role comes as the health system transitions from fee-for-service to a population health model.

Transforming means "looking at components of the health system as cost centers, instead of profit centers as they have existed under fee-for-service," the memo states.

Hospital leaders will continue to meet with team members throughout December to discuss the changes and relay information about the new design structure.

St. Luke's Health System CEO David Pate, MD, said he expects the adjustments to be made by the end of January. Fine-tuning the COO-CNO role will continue through spring.

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