UCONN Health Center : 2006 Clinical Annual Report

STEVEN STRONGWATER Dr., University of Connecticut Health Center

Document Type Report


Executive Summary

The clinical arm of UConn Health Center consists of UConn Medical Group (UMG), our physician faculty practice, John Dempsey Hospital (JDH) and the Correctional Managed Health Care Program (CMHC). Together these entities generate approximately $370 million dollars or about 60% of the Health Center’s revenues. Our work is guided by our mission, vision and values along with six Board of Directors goals: fostering high quality health care, fostering academic connections, moving toward becoming the employer of choice, management effectiveness, community connections and regional reputation. We have preferentially invested in and enabled growth in the clinical signature and foundational programs which include: cardiovascular and vascular biology, cancer, musculoskeletal medicine, geriatric/primary care, and women’s health. JDH and UMG have been recognized with a number of awards including prestigious unsolicited national recognition by Solucient, for the second year in a row, as a Top 100 Hospital Performance Improvement Leader, also by Cleverley & Associates as a Community Value Index Top 100 Hospital and as a clinical best performer in the CMS Hospital Compare Program (reflective of clinical outcomes). Substantial safety enhancements have been implemented in JDH through the work of the Collaborative Center for Clinical Care Improvement (C4I). Additionally, the implementation of “physician order entry” is a major achievement. This has been the culmination of several years of work and is an important milestone in reaching the goals laid out by the Institute of Medicine. Work has begun to extend this technology to CMHC and a similar product is being evaluated for UMG. The governance for UMG has been revised according to the newly approved School of Medicine Bylaws. UMG is now overseen by a 9 member Clinical Council, formerly the Clinical Oversight Group (COG). The Medical Arts and Research Building completed its first successful year in operation. Facility upgrades in UMG continue throughout the campus as planned in our master space plan. Facility planning for JDH is also underway. FY06 has been a challenging year financially for UMG and JDH. Reimbursements continue to lag expenses. The Medicare reimbursement fee schedule for UMG did not increase at all in FY06 despite rising costs. Fringe benefits costs for JDH were approximately 11% higher than at other Connecticut hospitals, estimated in excess of $8 million dollars. UMG suffered due to the departure and/or illness of several faculty. (Faculty departures were due to relocation, departure to other institutions or to private practice. In response, nearly 20 new faculty have been hired and will start in FY07, the faculty clinical incentive compensation plan was revamped and an extensive review, as it pertains to faculty retention, is underway.) Malpractice accruals have also increased, negatively impacting the income statement. Growth and revenue forecasts for the Farmington Surgery Center fell below expectation, which prompted moves to acquire the FSC as a hospital based facility. The clinical enterprise finished the year with revenues in excess of expenses of $3.9 million on revenues of approximately $380 million. In an effort to further enhance aggregate performance, we have adopted the Juran approach to “quality” and have actively participated in several breakthrough projects, referred to as BEST projects: breakthrough excellence and successful teamwork. Two illustrative projects described are a new primary care call center and enhanced billing practices. BEST is a University wide initiative. UCHC continues its work as a center of excellence for Correctional Health Care. This year the Department of Correction and UCHC memorandum of agreement was completely revised adding more accountability and oversight to the program.