Name: Marcy Doderer
Hospital: President & CEO Arkansas Children’s health system
Education: Bachelor of Science in finance from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas; Master of Healthcare Administration from University of Iowa.
First job in health care: Candy striper at Arkansas Children’s Hospital
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the health care industry in Arkansas today?
I think most health care executives would agree it comes down to dollars. We’re challenged by the downward pressure of reimbursement as costs for providing care move upward. It becomes a challenge to fund your workforce in a meaningful and market-competitive way. We definitely have an obligation to lower the costs of delivering health care. But at the same time, we’re inundated with advanced technologies, developing treatment options and new pharmaceuticals, all of which by their very nature drive up cost. It’s a paradox.
What new health technologies are you most impressed with?
I’m totally intrigued by the prospects of precision medicine and the process to rapidly obtain information from a patient’s DNA that can inform diagnostic and therapeutic decisions and in many instances, make treatment safer. This science is accelerating the timeline to diagnosis, changing the whole process for families. They can get a diagnosis in days versus weeks or months on a rare disease. It’s especially interesting given that we serve as the only Level IV nursery in Arkansas. For those critically ill infants, when no one quite knows what’s wrong with them, precision medicine may give us the opportunity to actually find out and then follow immediately, while they’re still just days old, with a tailored treatment plan.
How do elections impact the health care industry?
Arkansas Children’s is non-partisan, and always concerned with what’s best for kids. We don’t endorse particular candidates. We stand for whatever’s right for children. We do work closely with our elected officials, educating them and hopefully influencing how they shape policies that have a direct impact on child health. Political leaders have the ability – with the swipe of a pen – to improve our world or make it really hard for a child to seek health care that he or she needs. We invest a lot of time in advocating for what’s right for children.
Who will be the disruptive competitors in the future?
The obvious answer is the non-traditional healthcare providers entering markets across the country. I’m intrigued to see what happens with initiatives like the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase venture to overhaul health care. Those are big disruptors that I think will create real competition. But there’s one that’s less obvious and just as important in children’s healthcare: Social media-savvy parents. They rely on Facebook groups and blogging as their source of healthcare expertise, rather than the physician. Any number of concerns that moms used to bring solely to their general pediatrician are now being resolved through social networks. We have to be concerned about what that means for children’s safety first and foremost, but also for the culture of the industry.