The health care environment in Massachusetts in the 1990s
In the 1990s, the healthcare setting in Massachusetts was comparatively weak particularly when Ellen Zane took effective control of the Tufts-NEMC. While the city of Boston depicted a general perception of comprehensive medical advancement and patient-centered care programs, the region experienced numerous challenges. Most of the healthcare facilities in the state were operating on massive losses and did not have proper systems to facilitate revenue collection among the patients. Prior to the changes, the hospitals received grants to refurbish their obsolete facilities and to expand their operations.
Most of the medical equipment and technologies purchased by the healthcare entities were expensive. With expenditures per capita ranging between 27% and 29%, the hospitals accumulated large amounts of debts compared to the national averages. Subsequently, the state experienced a reduction in basic healthcare services such as births and nonresident discharges. Healthcare insurance plans companies in Massachusetts merged and integrated their services resulting into three primary market competitors. Other driving forces include federal and state governments’ underfunding of the healthcare plans and the increase in outpatient medical operations or surgeries.
These negative market forces had massive influences on Tufts/New England Medical Center. In particular, the medical centre accumulated an aggregate debt of approximately $240 million by 1996. Additionally, financial turmoil implied loss competent physicians, reduced market share, and increased mergers and acquisitions of the hospital facilities. Lastly, insurance companies such as Harvard Pilgrim halted their coverage of operations at New England Medical Centre.
Challenges facing Tuffs/NEMC when Zane took over as the CEO
When Zane took over as CEO, Tuffs-NEMC was already facing numerous operational challenges. For instance, the hospital was experiencing increased costs of maintaining inpatients. Additionally, the increased debts and inadequate insurance coverage plans affected operations at the facility. Another problem Tuffs-NEMC faced was the deregulation of the medical industry the state government of Massachusetts resulting in increased mergers and acquisitions between medical facilities. For instance, Tuffs-NEMC’s decision to merge with a medical entity from Rhode Island resulted into more financial challenges. The billing and payment departments operated from Rhodes Island did not understand the Massachusetts market and pricing strategies. The departments charged medical costs according to the prevailing market conditions in the Island implying that Tuffs-NEMC continued to lose money from the merger. Lastly, the hospital faced serious public backlashes from the local population who lost their jobs and felt sold-out by the management.
Compatibility of Zane’s background and skills
Undeniably, Ellen Zane had unique qualifications, skills, and relevant background to facilitate the creation of positive changes inside the healthcare organization. Ellen had over 30 years of work-related experiences in the healthcare industry. The hospital’s management believed in her unique qualifications and her innate ability to pull them out of the merger with Lifespan and sort other serious challenges. In her first six months as the CEO, Ellen Zane made numerous unpopular decisions. For instance, she authorized that firing of some members of staff and management team in her efforts to streamline operations at the medical facility.
The kind of power Zane had during negotiation with Blue Cross insurers
The YouTube video on Ellen Zane’s negotiation with the Blue Cross insurers revealed some of her unique characteristics. From the video, it is clear that Zane wielded impressive positional power as the CEO of Tuffs-NEMC. Additionally, Zane held the power of knowledge on related market issues while negotiating with the insurers.
How Zane prepared her organization for the ensuing emergency
Zane took drastic steps to prepare the organization for the projected operational emergency. Firstly, she developed a comprehensive agreement form on the ensuing deal. Furthermore, she encouraged her staff to focus on the successful attainment of the stipulated goals. Zane facilitated the development of the hospital website to enhance engagements among different stakeholders. She introduced a hotline number to receive calls from consumers and business partners. Moreover, Zane established effective communication processes by constantly posting notices of the ensuring emergency through the hospital’s physicians. Lastly, she articulated her case and arguments through the editorial board of Boston Globe to enhance public awareness and participation.
How Zane facilitated the solution
In essence, Zane relied on her hard work and commitment particularly during the negotiation stages to facilitate the development of viable solutions. She engaged her team in the preparation phases and switched into a crisis management mode. Ultimately, Zane’s efforts resulted in the signing of the Alternative Quality Contract with the Blue Cross insurers.
How Zane could create and sustain true and lasting change for Tuffs-NEMC
From the semester lesson on leading change management, I can advise Ellen Zane on how she can help Tuffs-NEMC to create and sustain positive and long-term changes. Firstly, I would advise Zane to initiate effective communication processes through effective explanation of different organizational change purposes. Through such improvements, Zane will reconnect with organizational values and appreciate the varied perceptions from other personnel. Secondly, I would advise Zane to collaborate with other senior and experienced members of the management team in executing critical changes. Including the personnel in the decision-making processes will enhance commitment towards Zane’s change initiatives at Tuffs-NEMC. In addition, Zane should integrate her beliefs and behaviors with those of the organization to sustain her resilience and persistence towards attaining set objectives.