I hope the summer has begun well for you. As we all know, it goes by way too fast so try to make the most of every day. A little golf, fishing, biking, walking or whatever your activity of choice, is good for us all of us both mentally and physically.
I am digressing from my normal discussion of current healthcare topics that I usually have in this space to talk more from a personal perspective.
As many of you are probably already aware, I recently transitioned myself to a new role at BESLER Consulting. This comes after nearly 18 years with the Firm and having served in a variety of roles. I began working with Phil Besler in the early ‘90s following twelve years working in the hospital setting. Through my time with the Firm I progressed from Senior Manager to Vice President and eventually to President and CEO. I can honestly say that having the privilege to work with Phil and the many fine people of our company over those years has been an extremely gratifying experience. Not only have I had the good fortune of working with a great team internally, I have been equally fortunate in establishing wonderful professional relationships, many of which have turned into personal friendships. I have been lucky indeed!
Over the last couple of years I gave considerable thought to where I wanted to focus my energies in the near future and what I enjoy doing most, both in terms of my professional and personal life. I wanted to create a better work-life balance for myself (as we all do) but just how to do that continued to be illusive to me. As a first step, nearly two years ago I transferred some of my daily business responsibilities to others in the Firm as I began to work my way through creating a new role for myself. I knew one thing for sure, that I wanted to continue to help lead BESLER Consulting, but was not quite as clear as to where I wanted to place my focus. As my thinking on this gradually became clearer over this period of time, it also became very evident that if I wanted to achieve a true change that I would have to commit to it fully by officially modifying my role, including my title. Frankly, attempting to accomplish such a change while still in the role President and without announcing my objectives both to my staff and our clients was not getting me very far – it was pretty much business as usual!
So, one day a couple of months ago I bit the bullet and made the decision to transition out of my role as President of BESLER Consulting so I can focus on two key areas which I believe are critical to our company’s success. These are the historical foundation upon which we have built our reputation and accomplishments; namely, client relations and product development. I consider these to be so important to our future that it makes sense to dedicate all of my time to these areas without the daily distractions that we all know so easily can distract from longer term objectives. From the “balance” perspective, I will be also be reducing my work hours to some degree in order to allow more unencumbered time to spend with my family and on other interests. (Yes, golf is one of those, although I don’t know if I will ever achieve the goal of lowering my handicap significantly!)
This decision did not come easily but I am confident it is the right one for me. Heaven knows it took me a long time to make the decision and I am not usually one to hesitate over such things. I believe my hesitancy stemmed from my absolute commitment and loyalty to our Firm and wanting to ensure that my personal goals did not in any way negatively impact our company nor our client commitments.
Although it has only been a few weeks officially, I am excited about my new role and I am confident that, as Senior Advisor to the Firm, I will be able to continue to contribute to our success through a focus on new and innovative services that will continue BESLER’s reputation as a leader in the industry. Furthermore, I will now have more time to visit with our clients to ensure that BESLER is serving your needs in the best way possible and to learn firsthand of the challenges you are facing in the dynamic and ever-changing healthcare environment that we are in. I truly look forward to that.
To sum it up, I have not gone away but rather only have redirected my energies and business focus. I look forward to your support in my new role and I want to ensure all of you that my commitment to you, our clients, will not waiver. I will always make myself available to assist, answer any questions that you may have or simply just talk about what is going on in healthcare these days. In those respects, nothing at all has changed! Thanks – now get out there and enjoy the weather.
Brian P. Sherin, FHFMA
As you can see in this addition of the BEACON, we have undergone some changes at BESLER Consulting. Brian has made the decision to take the leap to do what he has been planning for some time and step into a more focused role within the Firm, affording him time to become more involved in personal interests that he has long put on the back burner. First and foremost, on behalf of all of BESLER Consulting I want to thank Brian Sherin for his leadership, dedication and the industry expertise he has brought to our Firm over the many years he has served and in the many roles he has filled. As Brian pointed out above in his letter, the change is more incremental than drastic in that Brian will continue to focus his time and attention on key strategic areas that will be critical to BESLER in the future and he will continue to be an advocate and resource for our clients. Brian’s insight and knowledge have been, and will continue to be, an asset for our Firm and our clients, and we look forward to his continued input and guidance.
As a result of Brian’s decision, some leadership changes were necessary at BESLER Consulting. I am happy to be addressing you in this issue of the BEACON as our Firm’s new President and CEO. I hope this issue of the BEACON finds everyone well and enjoying the best of what summer has to offer: bountiful farmers markets, fun in the sun, more time with family with hopefully time to recharge. For most of us around the country, summer came in with a bang- a hot and humid, bang. Certainly here in the northeast we are not strangers to the changing seasons, but it is usually a bit more gradual than what we experienced this year. Our spring-to-summer changeover this year felt like a short reprieve between extremes, similar to what we experience as healthcare professionals. There never seems to be enough time to get used to the new normal.
In this issue of the BEACON, you will read about some interesting changes by the way of the new normal: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It has been looming as a challenge and opportunity for the healthcare system to change: become more efficient, work more collaboratively, reduce costs, increase quality, increase participation, and expand benefits with the ultimate goal of providing high quality healthcare for the Country. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit, stand or lean, the general consensus is that something had to change about our system. Our high cost of delivery, low quality indicators, unsustainable health insurance premiums, and reduction in payments and services were not cutting it for the American people.
When the President signed the federal statute into law on March 23, 2010, the deadlines for implementation seemed far enough in the future to offer a reprieve to allow preparation for operational changes to be ready for this new normal. The oral arguments before the Supreme Court tempted providers, insurance companies, and participants to infer that those implementation dates might be extended, changed, or even waived.
The Supreme Court has ruled, and now, the time is here; the reprieve is over. After more than two years of preparing for the full implementation of the law, it is time to settle into the new normal. Unless more changes arise as the election season kicks up this fall, we should settle into adapting to and adopting these changes. Some changes are already in effect related to access, insurance coverage and insurance company operational changes; but most are yet to come and pose critical decision points for us as providers and users of the healthcare delivery system. As always, BESLER Consulting is prepared to help you navigate these changes and implementation adjustments. We’ve been working diligently with you over the past 26 years in the shifting healthcare landscape and continue to be your trusted partner in these changing times.
As you’ll read in this issue, we selected a few topics from PPACA that we believe you need to be focusing time and attention. We do our best to provide content across the spectrum of your systems including clinical and financial. It’s important that in the new wave of healthcare, every provider is bringing together the strengths of the clinical and financial teams to embrace the change and emerge as a stronger, cohesive unit. These talents are needed as you address the challenges and opportunities that PPACA present. We have been actively working with providers to bring these technical resources to the table to develop new solutions, create efficiencies and new ways to adjust to the new normal. Whatever side of the implementation spectrum you’re on, BESLER Consulting can help support those initiatives. With the appropriate resources, we can do this together. We can change our system for the better, we can increase efficiency, we can improve outcomes, we can reduce waste, and we can ensure revenue integrity.
Operationally and financially, our healthcare system needed change, and while it is rarely comfortable and feels abrupt, change is healthy for organizations. Change allows growth to take place with new and better ways to emerge. Just as the changing of the seasons sometimes is abrupt, we inevitably have to adjust to the new season, the new normal. PPACA presents opportunities and we can seize them during this critical and challenging time.
While the abrupt beginning of summer felt like a shock, the one hundred plus degree weather we had here during July 4th weekend combined with warmer ocean temperatures allowed my family and me to enjoy swimming in the ocean without feeling numb after a few minutes. There are some benefits to quick changes! While all of our resources (especially time) are limited, I hope you are able to take advantage to enjoy this summer, for all its worth. All the changes, challenges and opportunities will become sharper with a clear mind, body and spirit. And I hope that for you and yours, you had a safe and enjoyable July 4th and start to the summer. I wish you the best for the remainder of the summer, and I am looking forward to settling in for sunny skies ahead.
Jonathan H. Besler, CPA
President and CEO