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UPDATE – Jeff Fee Predicts ‘Huge Changes in Healthcare Within Three Years ‘ – In 2013

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UPDATE – In an October 2013 interview with KGVO News, St. Patrick Hospital CEO Jeff Fee was looking into the future with the newly passed Affordable Care Act along with other changes in the healthcare industry.

“Healthcare is entering into a recession and a period of contraction right now, rather than expansion,” Fee said. “A lot of that is being driven by demand, with market forces putting a lot of pressure on our revenues. What we’re seeing across the industry and what we’re experiencing here in Missoula is a tremendous amount of pressure on our cost structure. That ultimately means you have to enter into periods of austerity where you really have to look hard at what you’re doing and get down to what your core business is, and oftentimes that does mean that jobs are impacted.”

Fee said the very system of delivering healthcare is being transformed before the eyes of hospital administrators.

“That transformation is almost an evolution away from the current model to another model, and it’s incredibly disruptive,” Fee said. “I’d like to see an era where my leading indicator for success is not necessarily the number of patients I have in the hospital, but instead how many patients I’ve been able to successfully keep out of the hospital. So, it’s going to be a process that will evolve over the next three to four years, so I don’t really have a timeline as to when any announcements will be made. There’s just going to be a lot of change in the healthcare delivery system over the years to come.”

That prophecy is being fulfilled in a deeply personal way as Fee steps down at the end of the year, though there was nothing to indicate in the press release that Fee had been asked to resign.

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After a decade of service as CEO of Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Regional Chief Executive for Providence Health and Medical Services Western Montana, Jeff Fee will step down at the end of the year.

In a press release issued by Providence Western Montana, it was announced that the positions held by Fee will not be filled once he leaves. According to the press release;

“Health care systems across the country are facing extraordinary pressure from the industry-wide trend of reduced revenue from both government and private health insurance plans. At the same time, the cost of services–especially prescription drugs, medical supplies and labor costs–continue to increase at rates well above inflation. Health care systems are looking at ways to operate more affordably while keeping resources at the patient’s bedside.”

Fee will stay on at the hospital until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. It was also announced that the current Chief Operating Officer of Western Montana, Joyce Dombrouski, would handle the day-to-day operations at both St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson.

In the press release, Fee said:

“I leave with immense pride as I step aside after a very successful career with Providence. Ten years is a long time to be in a Chief Executive role. When taking on the role of CEO, you sign up for things like this to happen—it comes with the territory. I’ve had a fantastic run and I love Montana. This transition now presents an opportunity for me to consider the next phase of my career, and there’s some excitement with that prospect.” 

 

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