Exec ranks among ‘Top 25 COOs’ in health care


Tina Freese Decker. Courtesy Spectrum Health

An executive at a local health system has been named one of the “Top 25 COOs” in the health care industry.

Tina Freese Decker, EVP and COO at Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health, is in the ranking produced by Modern Healthcare, a magazine of health care business and policy news, research and information.

Modern Healthcare describes the ranking in its May 7 issue: “As the pace of mergers, acquisitions and overall disruption continues to accelerate, the role of chief operating officer has never been more critical. Leaders included in Modern Healthcare’s 2018 list of the ‘Top 25 COOs’ deftly maneuvered their organizations through change facing the industry.”

Nominees for the designation can be from any size organization and any sector of the health care industry.

They must be in the COO position for at least a full year as of their nomination.

“Tina is respected for her forward-thinking innovation, business acumen, strong execution and seamless collaboration,” said Richard Breon, president and CEO, Spectrum Health. “She is known as a change agent who has the judgment and experience to challenge the status quo, while centering the organization on high-value strategies.”

Spectrum Health said Freese Decker has helped the health system improve operationally in numerous ways over the past year:

— Implementation of a $300-million transformation-of-care model and installation of Epic, an electronic clinical and revenue cycle platform

— Reduction in the rise in expenses per adjusted admission within 1 percent of the U.S. Consumer Price Index in 2017

— Consolidation of operational responsibilities across geographic regions, standardizing work and hardwiring careflows, resulting in a cost savings of nearly $1 million, with expected multi-million-dollar cost savings in 2018

— Continued implementation of MedNow digital platform to reduce hospital utilization and cost, increasing virtual visits by 355 percent over prior year; this virtual health tool is also used to connect patients in rural areas and their specialists, eliminating hours of travel

— Addressing the social determinants of health with a focus on available food, affordable housing and reduced health disparities

— Improvement in employee and physician satisfaction through a “concerted effort to engage, collaborate and create a culture of inclusivity”

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