Q&A with Joel Yuhas, President and CEO of Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center

Q&A with Joel Yuhas, President and CEO of Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 06, 2015
From the November 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The second reason is that we’re a teaching hospital. Our hospital’s commitment to teaching attracts the best and they want to share their experience. I think when a person comes to a hospital with that commitment it inspires us to be at the top of our game. Teaching hospitals inspire a culture of continued learning and a drive to be at the cutting edge of both technology and care delivery.
HCB News: What kind of challenges does your facility face?
I think hospitals in the U.S. are all dealing with the changes from health reform. There is constant pressure to provide an efficient and deliverable service at a lower cost and under lower reimbursement. Part of the benefit of being part of a large system like Dignity Health is that we’re innovative in exploring different ways to provide care that we’re able to test among our facilities.

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HCB News: What do you think will be the big changes to health care in the next decade?
I would say we’re going to continue to see reimbursement changes, with reimbursements decreasing over time. And consumer preferences will continue to change. So while hospitals were built to be big places, consumers don’t necessarily want to be treated that way. They’re increasingly seeking personalized and personal care. There will be greater partnering with patients to receive the kind of care they want in an affordable way.
HCB News: What do you think hospitals will need to do to be successful in 10 years?
We’re a level II trauma center. We receive over 56,000 visits in a 23-bed emergency department and some of the drivers in this go to a macro perspective. While we’re thrilled that the ACA has come into play and provided people access to at least Medi-Cal in Long Beach, there’s an enormous deficit of primary care physicians.

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