Healthcare Managers Upbeat Despite Profound Change

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Jun. 11, 2013

Healthcare Managers Upbeat Despite Profound Change

Survey of Trinity University Health Care Administration alumni reflects positive attitude, in sharp contrast to views of physicians

Contact: Sharon Jones Schweitzer

Contact: Phillip Miller

Health Care Administration

SAN ANTONIO - More than 92 percent of hospital and other health facility managers who graduated from Trinity University's Health Care Administration program are excited about their careers, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted for Trinity University by healthcare search and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins, suggests that even in a time of profound change brought on by health reform, healthcare facility managers remain upbeat about their profession.

"Though the ground is shifting underneath them, most healthcare facility managers feel prepared for pending changes in the healthcare system and are happy in their selection of a career," said Mary Stefl, chair of Trinity University's Health Care Administration program. "Change may be challenging healthcare facility managers today, but it is also energizing them."

According to the survey, more than 87 percent of Trinity University department of Health Care Administration alumni now in healthcare management described their morale as positive, 87 percent would recommend healthcare management as a career to young people, and 86 percent would select healthcare management if they had their careers to do over. Over 70 percent said their facilities are prepared for pending changes to healthcare facility reimbursement and 75 percent described their facility's relationship with physicians as generally or completely cooperative.

These findings contrast sharply with a national survey of physicians Merritt Hawkins recently conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation. According to Travis Singleton, Merritt Hawkins' senior vice president, only 32 percent of physicians in the survey felt positively about the medical profession, only 42 percent described their morale as positive, only 42 percent would recommend medicine as a career to young people, and only 66 percent would choose medicine if they had their careers to do over.

"For healthcare facility managers, the glass appears to be half full," Singleton said. "For physicians, it appears to be half empty."

Healthcare facility managers in the Trinity University survey identified reimbursement as their number one strategic concern, followed by patient attitudes, physician alignment and physician recruiting, and retention. Physician related issues rank high, Singleton says, because healthcare facilities will have to cooperate closely with doctors to implement new delivery models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs). While most healthcare facility managers surveyed indicated their facilities are on good terms with their physicians, many do not have all the doctors they need. More than 83 percent indicated they have some openings for physicians on their staffs. The majority (60 percent) are experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians while 42 percent are seeing shortages in specialty areas.

"For healthcare reform to work, hospitals and other facilities and physicians will have to be on the same page," Stefl said. "The survey suggests healthcare facility managers clearly view physician recruiting and alignment as priorities."

The survey was sent to 1,442 alumni of Trinity University's department of Health Care Administration and 410 responses were received, for a response rate of 28 percent. To view the full survey report visit Trinity's website at or

About Trinity University

Located in the culturally rich city of San Antonio, Texas, Trinity University is one of the nation's top private liberal arts universities. With 2,600 talented undergraduate and graduate students, the University is known for its stimulating, resourceful, and collaborative environment - in the classroom, on campus, and around the world.

About Trinity University's Department of Health Care Administration

Trinity University's master's in Health Care Administration program develops leaders who are able to adapt and respond to the needs of today's healthcare facilities and prepares them for the challenges of 21st century healthcare delivery. The program has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) since 1969 and is one of the top-rated healthcare administration programs in the country.

About Merritt Hawkins

Merritt Hawkins ( is a leading healthcare search and consulting firm and is a company of AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AHS), the largest healthcare staffing organization in the United States and the innovator of healthcare workforce solutions.