Performance Improvement Project Update
Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013

NHCH is a small non-profit community hospital facing numerous challenges in an ever-changing healthcare environment. In our 17 year history, we have never achieved a positive operating margin. We must turn our business around because our community, employees and physicians deserve a stable hospital that can regularly achieve a positive operating margin that matches our achievement of patient satisfaction and quality patient outcomes. In an effort to turn around our financial performance in the short term and to lay the groundwork to better position the hospital for the coming changes required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), NHCH is currently engaged in a performance improvement process led by newly-appointed Interim CEO Lowell Johnson and The Huron Consulting Group.

Lowell Johnson brings over 25 years experience leading more than 30 hospitals across the nation through similar turnaround initiatives. The Huron Consulting Group is the premier healthcare consulting organization dedicated to implementing performance improvement at healthcare facilities, including The Queen’s Medical Center and Castle Medical Center. Johnson and Huron have worked together seven times, successfully, over the past eight years.

The NHCH Board of Directors has charged Johnson with the following goals:

  • Maintain or improve the quality of care provided to patients.
  • Make NHCH profitable on an operating basis.
  • Prepare NHCH for the coming changes in healthcare reimbursement and business practices required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
  • Assist in finding a permanent CEO.

For the past month, a team of consultants from The Huron Consulting Group has been observing and working with each hospital department and service line, focusing on the following four areas:

  • Revenue Cycle—the process of receiving payment for services rendered;
  • Non-Labor—contracts and costs associated with purchasing materials and supplies;
  • Labor—scheduling and use of our human resources, nurses and administrative support staff for more efficiency; and
  • Physicians—working to better support our physicians and improve the productivity of their practices.

After observing and analyzing data over a 90-day period, The Huron Consulting Group will present numerous recommendations for initiatives that NHCH can implement to help the hospital achieve revenue enhancements and cost savings while continuing to provide excellent patient care. The Huron Consulting Group will work with the hospital management team and staff to provide the tools, training and support to set NHCH on a profitable path for the future. Consultants will remain at NHCH throughout the implementation process to assist management and staff to ensure recommendations actually work and are adopted effectively. This entire process is currently slated for completion in early September. So far, Huron’s analyses have indicated potential savings or additional revenues of $1.2 million based on preliminary recommendations. Over the coming months these recommendations will be slated for implementation along with other such recommendations that we anticipate will total over $5 million.

This is a very important endeavor for the hospital, and we are committed to sharing information in an appropriate and timely manner. In addition to posting information here on our hospital’s website, NHCH Board Chairman Bob Momsen will provide a hospital update at the monthly Waimea Community Association meetings, which are held on the first Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in the Waimea Elementary School cafeteria; please visit for more information. Lastly, please sign up for our monthly eNewsletter for the latest hospital news and events (click on "Sign Up for E-News" found on the lower left side of any page on our website at