Affordable Care Act legislation is requiring leaders in US health systems to adapt to new and very different approaches to improving operating performance. Research from other industries suggests leadership development can be a helpful component of organizational change strategies; however, there is currently very little healthcare-specific research available to guide design and deployment. The goal of this exploratory study is to examine potential relationships between specific leadership development practices and health system financial outcomes. Results from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership survey of leadership development practices were correlated with hospital and health system financial performance data from the 2013 Medicare Cost Reports. A general linear regression model, controlling for payer mix, case-mix index, and bed size, was used to assess possible relationships between leadership practices and three financial performance metrics: operating margin, days cash on hand, and debt to capitalization. Statistically significant associations were found between hospital-level operating margins and 5 of the 11 leadership practices as well as the composite score. Relationships at the health system level, however, were not statistically significant. Results provide preliminary evidence of an association between hospital financial performance and investments made in developing their leaders.
- hospital financial performance
- human resource management
- leadership development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy