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Rick Pollack offers advice for hospital leaders


The president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, Pollack urges health system executives to focus on caregivers and build connections with lawmakers.

Seattle - After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital leaders must focus on their workers, Rick Pollack says.

Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, sat down for an interview with Chief Healthcare Executive® this week. He talked about the industry’s challenges in a discussion during the American Hospital Association’s Leadership Summit. Many healthcare workers who have made it through the past three years are struggling with burnout.

“You have to strengthen the workforce,” Pollack says. “Without a viable workforce, hospitals and the healthcare system will simply collapse.”

“We’ve got to make sure we’re caring for our caregivers,” he says.

Pollack also stresses the importance of hospital executives connecting with their state and local lawmakers. He says it’s a critical way for hospital leaders to draw more attention on the impact of insufficient federal aid and other challenges, such as prior authorization.

“A second thing I would really focus on is developing relationships with your legislators at every level,” Pollack says.

“At the end of the day, Medicare and Medicaid are a source of a lot of funding for hospitals and health systems,” he continues. “The regulatory process has a significant impact on everything we do.

“I think it's really important now that we're past COVID to have everybody be visiting their hospitals and inviting their legislators to visit, so they really have an understanding of what we're facing and the challenges that we're facing, so they can be better informed in making the policy choices that they're faced with.”

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