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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 12 months ago

Economic Forecast: Hospital sees opportunity in new emergency department, stroke center

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Health Care — Kevin DiLallo, CEO, Manatee Healthcare System, Bradenton
by: Grier Ferguson Sarasota-Manatee Editor

Company: Kevin DiLallo says there are "some great growth opportunities here at the hospital." Manatee Memorial, for one, will open its new emergency department in mid-December. The new 50,000-square-foot, 48-room facility will double the size of the hospital’s emergency department.

In 2019, the hospital also will work on its comprehensive stroke center. Manatee Memorial is an accredited stroke center now, but in January it will become comprehensive and able to do different procedures. The transition involves an investment in equipment and new talent. DiLallo says the hospital also plans to continue to grow its structural heart program with new procedures and clinical trials.

Industry: The health care industry will see big changes in technology in 2019, says DiLallo. He also says the fight over the Affordable Care Act will continue in the year ahead, with several states battling over health care coverage for residents. 

Individual hospitals nationwide will implement changes of their own. DiLallo says, “There’s a tremendous push in the industry from volume to value.”

At Manatee Memorial, for example, employees constantly examine metrics and procedures. They look at areas such as how to reduce patients’ length of stay and increasing patient safety.

The industry will aim to improve, he says, in terms of cost-effectiveness and care quality. “We’re always checking ourselves in health care to see what we can do better,” DiLallo says.

Threats: DiLallo’s worries center on the physician and nursing shortage. One of the hospital’s strategies is to work with local schools to bring in new talent. “Staff means everything to us,” he says. “We want to make sure we get the right people on board.”

Manatee Memorial’s biggest challenge, DiLallo says, is to provide service to the community and work with state and local agencies to get reimbursement for those services.

Overall, with the community and hospital growing, DiLallo sees positive days ahead. “I think we have a tremendous growth opportunity,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to 2019.”

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