The recently named CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital says being a doctor will give him an advantage in his new role.
“As a physician, seeing what the nuts and bolts of what our patients are going through brings an additional lens’’ to the position, said Dr. Patrick Battey, who will take over as CEO in January.
Battey, 61, a vascular surgeon, has been co-CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital with Les Donahue, who is retiring at the end of the year.
It’s uncommon for a physician to serve as CEO of a major Georgia hospital.
Yet physicians have traditionally had a strong role in the Piedmont operation, Battey told GHN. He also said he would continue his medical practice while running the hospital.
The changes in hospital reimbursement pose an ongoing challenge, he said.
Insurers and the government Medicare program are increasingly tying payments to the quality of care delivered. “We’re facing increasing pressures,’’ he said, in shifting to what’s called the “value-based purchasing’’ model.
More reimbursements for services will be “bundled’’ into a single payment, Battey added. “You have to have physicians at the table, looking at what they do,’’ he said.
Piedmont Healthcare is a major player in health care in the Atlanta area. It operates five hospitals, with the facility in the city of Atlanta being the centerpiece. Piedmont will add another hospital, Newton Medical Center in Covington, later this year.
Battey, an Augusta native, sees such hospital consolidation as inevitable. “Size will really matter’’ in the health care business, he said.
Kevin Brown, the CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, said in a statement, “I believe that clinicians bring unique insight and thus important leadership within health care organizations. Dr. Battey has demonstrated through a variety of noteworthy positions – including serving as interim CEO of Piedmont Healthcare before my arrival – that he has the talent, skill and passion to help direct Piedmont in significant ways.”