The Healthcare CFO Search: Does the Perfect Candidate Exist?

Expectations for healthcare CFOs are drastically evolving and expanding. In the past, organizations looked for executives who could expertly manage the bottom line and support their organizations’ long-term financial health and stability.

Today, a typical healthcare CFO search targets an individual who, while still managerial in many respects, is much more strategic and visionary, says Anne Siders-Robinson, Witt/Kieffer senior associate. “Terms like innovative and strategic are often the leading requirements for a CFO,” Siders-Robinson…



Up & Comers: Healthcare Leaders Who Refuse to Wait

Patience may be a virtue, but it is certainly not top priority for the 12 newly honored Modern Healthcare Up & Comers. These dynamic under-40 executives have gotten to where they are by shunning patience and seizing opportunities to influence their colleagues and organizations. A few examples:

  • By age 35, New York-Presbyterian Hospital CMO Dr. Peter Fleischut established a Housestaff Quality Council that has become a widely recognized model of patient-safety initiatives.
  • As CMO of Albuquerque’s Molina…


CEO Compensation Strategies: Getting Literal about Incentives and Severance

Healthcare CEOs are used to having various incentives built into their compensation packages. Traditionally, however, these incentives related loosely to the organization’s financials, or if a measurement related to institutional quality, it tied primarily to patient satisfaction.

No longer, says Witt/Kieffer’s Andrew Chastain. Today’s healthcare executive compensation packages are about “literal outcomes,” he says. Boards use compensation strategies that involve more sophisticated short- and…



What’s the Value of Health IT? The CIO Has the Answer

By Nick Giannas, Senior Associate, Witt/Kieffer

As part of National Health IT Week (this week, Sept. 16 to 20), HIMSS is encouraging professionals and observers in the field to blog about the following question: What’s the value of health IT?

In a way, it’s a trick question. There is obvious value. Or rather, IT is invaluable in that it affects all areas across the continuum of healthcare;…



Can Hospital CEOs Find (and Redefine) Success in Centralized Health Systems?

Careerwise, it’s been a challenging few years for just about everyone in healthcare. Professionals have had to reestablish their footing in an era of government reform and shifting paradigms.

Count hospital CEOs among those being challenged, too. As a wave of consolidation washes over the industry, chief executives from what were previously standalone hospitals, clinics, and health centers now find themselves incorporated and integrated into large, centralized health systems. Often, these hospital CEOs are presented with dramatically different or even…



Health Plan Leadership: Executives with Private and Public Experience Wanted

After years of consolidation amongst private commercial health plans, large insurers like Aetna and WellPoint recently shifted their gaze toward the public realm. With Medicare and Medicaid expansion impending and millions more people gaining health insurance, private insurers have targeted federal health programs and managed-care businesses with significant Medicare and Medicaid components.

The mergers and acquisitions have blurred the lines between what were previously very distinct worlds, creating leadership challenges for both public and private health plans, says

Recruiting Board Members: Should You Add Outsiders to the Mix?

Given today’s seismic changes in healthcare, hospitals and health systems are looking more strategically at the composition of their boards and the qualities each member brings to the boardroom table. A good board can be a clear competitive advantage.

Most organizations see board diversity as a cornerstone of board health and success. But achieving diversity—of race and ethnicity, of gender, of age, and of skills—often requires boards…



In Healthcare, Is There a Link between Good Talent Management and ROI?

Although today’s healthcare organizations have well-developed talent management practices, few have an in-depth understanding of the return on investment these practices provide. To better gauge this ROI, Witt/Kieffer has supported the work of Pepperdine University professor Kevin Groves, Ph.D., who recently conducted a comprehensive survey of senior HR officers and other industry executives in charge of talent management within their organizations.

Dr. Groves’ work explores and draws conclusions regarding several critical issues:

  • There is a strong connection between good talent management…


Who Will Fill Your Shoes? Best Practices for Hiring a Successor

Any conscientious executive knows the value in naming and developing a successor. Given enough time and mentoring, your understudy can learn the ropes, gain critical experience and, when the time is right, take over your responsibilities in what is hopefully a seamless transition. Such leadership succession planning is good for the organization, not to mention the fact that it reflects well upon your own legacy.

David Boggs, practice leader of

Healthcare Leadership: The Evolving Role of the VP CTO

Guest post by Nicholas Giannas, Senior Associate, IT Practice

In the information technology world, we have seen most executive positions evolve and grow over time, and many new titles and positions develop. This happens even more frequently in a rapidly changing industry like healthcare. With healthcare reform and the federal electronic medical record (EMR) stimulus program, IT roles are increasing in scope, importance, and number.

There has been a lot written about the evolution of…