A CEO's top 2 recurring issues

Alfonso del Granado serves as administrator and chief executive officer at Lubbock, Texas-based Covenant High Plains Surgery Center. 

Mr. del Granado will serve on the panel "What's on the Horizon for Orthopedics and ASCs" at Becker's 19th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place in Chicago from June 16-18. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Question: What issues are you spending most of your time on today?

Alfonso del Granado: Recruiting and retention are occupying much more of my time than ever before! Trying to find creative ways to hire new staff members, both clinical and billing/coding, is tough. Retention is also a challenge and we do everything to provide the best possible work experience for our staff, but competitors are raising their wage scales and offering signing bonuses that we, like most ASCs, cannot possibly match.

The second issue that takes up much of my time is the supply chain. It's often a struggle to stock up on the most random and banal supplies imaginable. Every week we notice something going on allocation or back order and have to scramble to find alternatives or third-party vendors at a premium.

Q: What are your top challenges and how will they change over the next 12 months?

ADG: In addition to the challenges from recruitment/retention and supply chain, we are working on growing our Stryker Mako robotic total joints program at one center and implementing a new DaVinci robotic general surgery program at another. Maintaining profit margins is tough when costs go up significantly, but reimbursements don't — or even continue to drop in real dollars as inflation continues out of control.

Q: How are you thinking about investments and growth in the next two years?

ADG: We undertook aggressive growth programs in 2021 and 2022, so although we won't turn down any opportunities that come our way, we will focus on improving efficiency and productivity.

Q: What are you most excited about right now?  

ADG: I'm looking forward to implementing new analytics capabilities to help us narrow our focus on inefficiencies and work to optimize our processes to improve profitability. With declining reimbursements and increasing costs, it's probably the best use of our resources at this time.

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