HCA 827 Week 5 Assignment Economic Changes and Staff Development

HCA 827 Week 5 Assignment Economic Changes and Staff Development

Economic Changes and Staff Development Perspective at MedStar Washington Hospital

A phone interview was conducted with a Health Care Administrator staff from MedStar Washington Hospital in Washington, DC. MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) is the largest not for profit healthcare organization in the District of Columbia, and is a valued member of Medstar. It is the flagship hospital of Columbia, Maryland based MedStar Health. It is nationally recognized for their diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Also, its mission statement is to deliver exceptional patient-first health care, and the vision statement states they want to be a trusted leader caring for patients and advancing health. This paper will document the results of an inclusive interview that was conducted with MWHC President with several thoughtful answeres to multiple questions such as the most significant economic challenge, changes resulting from the problem, and the staff reactions to the challenges.

Challenge Facing Washington Hospital Center

MWHC confronted numerous financial challenges during the tenure of President John Sullivan. He came aboard during the worst economic stresses, monetary crisis facing the hospital center, and in addition, laid off approximately 1000 associates from numerous departments between the years of 2011-2017 due to budgetary restraints. He indicated that MWHC is still facing new challenges daily.

Also, President Sullivan was willing to conduct a face-to-face interview to speak about the significant challenges facing the hospital center in 2017-2018.  His email address is john.sullivan@whc.org.  He indicated that there were over 50,000 women, men, and children who depend on MedStar Family Choice for healthcare services through Medicaid. The District of Columbia Department of Healthcare Finance excluded MWHC from the managed care contract award after five years of service to District residents. The healthcare plan was the choice of district residents which provided them access to high-quality healthcare inspite of the their financial situation. Enrollment in the program has grown dramatically compared to the other two Medicaid health care plans.

MWHC serves thirty-five percent of the residents in Washington, DC. The latest financial setback damaged the 2018 fiscal budget significantly, and currently there are over 120 positions which are in the over budget category. There is a four percent drop in admissions and an eight percent drop in inpatient surgeries. Also, there is Medicaid reductions, a new Medicare rule which reclassifies higher paying inpatient admissions and the implementation of a new medical record keeping system which is needed.  Obama Care Shuttering Hospitals and Free Clinics (2015), indicated that smaller hospitals in poorer areas, which have a high concentration of Medicaid patients, are already beginning to shut their doors. In a December 14 article for WND, Paul Bremmer reported that in 2013, 18 acute-care hospitals in the United States closed, and “at least 12 more hospitals have closed this year in rural areas alone,” with more to come.

Interventional changes

            In the current healthcare environment, there are growing partnerships between physician groups and hospital. Approximately six established prominent radiation oncology groups have partnered with MedStar. There will be training offered for other clinical employees due to a new policy being put in place because interventional radiology oncology employees are not credentialed to register new patients.

Another area of change is the MedStar Health contribution to employee’s 403 (b) plan. The hospital will no longer contribute six dollars to every dollar when an employee invests in the program. Also, former employees cannot withdraw any funds on their plans due to the hospital’s financial strains. The employee can contact Fidelity Investments and have their payments transferred to a Roth accounts if desired.

The third are of change is that employees will get pay raises of one percent until the hospital solidfy a plan to escape financial difficulty. Executive managers, front-line managers, and hourly associates are affected by this decision, and there is currently a hiring freeze on vacant positions. This mean everyone will have to double up on shift work and make the best of a difficult situation.

Employee Reactions

President Sullivan indicated that a large proportion of change initiatives is extremely unsuccessful in organizations. A recent town hall meeting was held about the newest changes at the center. The leading cause of change is employee resistance and acceptance. The recent town hall meeting addressed the upcoming changes and was attended by almost every employee.  Employees morale and disappointment were heard loud and clear. Younger employees are aggravated, and overheard conversations that some staff have already started searching for other jobs in other health care facilities which consisted in state and out of state. Older employees feel helpless but confident that the recent changes will help the organization overcome their financial hurdle, and will attempt to ride it out until retirement.

Evaluation of changes made at WHC

         Today’s organizations are increasingly implementing assessment tools for instance as staff development plans (Beausaert et al., 2011). The power of this tool lies in supporting

employees continuing professional development (CPD), and includes all training and education undertaken by an employer to improve the occupational knowledge, skills, and abilities of employment. Also, there is a process consisting of orientation, in-service education and continuing education for employees. There is a process consisting of orientation, in-service education and continuing education for employees.  Below in Figure 1 displays a development plan that can be utilized for each staff to assist with the change transition,

MWHC staff plans to center their developmental plan around computer training which will be funded by their parent company known as MedStar Health, and issued by all Human Resources Departments throughout the organization. Mkoka, Mahiti,  Kiwara, Mwangu, Goicolea, & Hurtig (2015) stated, “Other researchers have commented on the need to establish a positive working environment, keep communication open, provide opportunities for career advancement and recognize and reward hard-working health workers, (p. 2)”.


There are many health care organizations in the process of implementing change due to budget constraints, and unfortunately, organizational change will affect some staff negatively, and staff will have to try and work with their organization and keep the lines of communication open with their supervisors.  Healthcare facilities are still not where they should be in processes and financially, but they are much better than they were a few decades ago.  With technology on the rise, and advancement in systems, processes and medicine are still climbing slowly.  Some healthcare organizations are in better shape than others, but the politicians need to focus more of U.S. Healthcare while eliminating some of the other concerns that are not so important if healthcare financially is to be improved.  One day eventually, healthcare will get to where they need to be, and delivering quality services to the communities with highly skilled professional staff will improve drastically eventually.


Beausaert, S. A., Segers, M. S. R., Gijselaers, W. H. (2017). Vocations and Learning, 4(3), 231-252.

Mkoka, D. A., Mahiti, G. R., Kiwara, A., Mwangu, M., Goicolea, I., & Hurtig, A. (2015). Once the government employs you, it forgets you”: Health workers’ and managers’ perspectives on factors influencing working conditions for provision of maternal health care services in a rural district of Tanzania. Human Resources For Health, 13(1), 1-13. doi:10.1186/s12960-015-0076-5

ObamaCare Shuttering Hospitals and Free Clinics. (2015). New American (08856540), 31(2), 7.