Rocha, 42, declined an interview request by means of a CCH spokeswoman. “Out of respect for the formal course of, it might be untimely for me to say something greater than I sit up for the following steps,” he stated in an electronic mail from the spokeswoman.
As a vice chairman at NYC Well being + Hospitals, Rocha has served as CEO of Elmhurst Hospital since 2016 and CEO of Queens Hospital since earlier this yr.
The 11-hospital system, with 42,000 workers, was inundated with COVID-19 instances this yr, having gone from no hospitalized coronavirus sufferers on March 1 to three,700 sufferers by April 1, system CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz just lately instructed Fashionable Healthcare. The expertise challenged the system to suppose in another way about maintaining with demand, as rising staffing numbers solely hikes prices, Katz stated.
Rocha “has deep expertise with dealing with the sudden twists and turns of this virus. . . .He has run a hospital that’s of comparable dimension and scale and has an analogous payer base and inhabitants,” stated Cook dinner County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. “He additionally has a variety of expertise politically. This can be a hospital wherein you want to be each in a position to run a robust medical group however navigate a political one as nicely.”
The Cook dinner County Board of Commissioners just lately regained extra management over hospital system selections, granting Preckwinkle a direct appointment to the unbiased board and the facility to approve all future CEOs.
Moreover, Rocha must handle various constituencies—everybody from upkeep employees to medical doctors, the well being system’s board, Cook dinner County commissioners and the board president, Gainer stated. Plus a various mixture of payers and completely different medical settings at hospitals, clinics and the county jail.
Cook dinner County Well being covers Stroger Hospital on the Close to West Aspect, Provident Hospital on the South Aspect, a community of clinics, an insurance coverage firm and medical providers for detainees on the Cook dinner County Division of Corrections, in addition to the county’s Division of Public Well being.
Rocha isn’t any stranger to the challenges that include working at a public well being system with a mission to look after all sufferers no matter means to pay. Underneath his management, Elmhurst Hospital in New York elevated affected person income by about $50 million a yr, improved medical high quality measures and affected person satisfaction, eradicated its working price range deficit, and secured cash to construct a brand new emergency division, neurosciences middle and ambulatory surgical middle, in line with his bio on the NYC Well being + Hospitals web site.
Cook dinner County Commissioner Larry Suffredin stated a committee vote will possible be held Oct. 19 or 21 and that Rocha’s compensation package deal can be mentioned in govt session.
Suffredin added that Rocha’s expertise guiding Elmhurst by means of COVID throughout the worst of town’s expertise with the virus is a degree in his favor, as is his work with OneCity Well being, a subsidiary of NYC Well being + Hospitals just like CCH-run CountyCare.
Rocha’s expertise in Washington, D.C., may additionally assist CCH navigate federal funding, Suffredin stated, noting that “he’s a transformational chief.” He labored for Texas Congressman Ruben Hinojosa from 2000 to 2007, beginning as a legislative assistant and dealing his method as much as deputy chief of employees.
Earlier than he joined NYC Well being + Hospitals, Rocha was CEO of the Docs Hospital at Renaissance Well being System in Edinburg, Texas. He labored there from 2009 till 2016 and helped transition it from a normal acute-care hospital right into a complete tutorial medical middle affiliated with the College of Texas System. He’s a Texas native with levels from Columbia College and New York College.
Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook dinner County Well being was below stress to chop spending and tackle a rising burden of uncompensated care with out a everlasting chief. Now, dealing with a projected $187 million price range deficit for fiscal 2021, the system is planning a collection of cost-cutting initiatives, together with layoffs and outpatient clinic consolidations.
Plans to construct a $240 million, largely outpatient facility to interchange Provident had been placed on maintain till a everlasting CEO takes the helm. However different adjustments on the hospital look like underway, together with consolidating sufferers and providers at Provident from the system’s Woodlawn and Close to South outpatient clinics, that are closing; transferring some elective surgical procedures to Provident from Stroger; and changing Provident’s emergency division right into a standby emergency division, which suggests a registered nurse is on responsibility always and a physician is on name.
“Deb Carey has performed a terrific job as interim CEO and I feel all people can be relieved and excited to have a everlasting chief in place that may assist navigate these troubled instances,” stated Margie Schaps, govt director of the Well being & Drugs Coverage Analysis Group.
Carey, who beforehand was deputy CEO of operations and is to return to that position, took the helm on an interim foundation in January after John Jay Shannon’s contract was not renewed by the well being system’s unbiased board.
“Having come from New York, I’ve confidence that (Rocha) understands the pandemic nicely and the challenges of huge cities which have lots of people whose lives are challenged by a variety of issues that relate to well being—social determinants like meals insecurity, housing insecurity, job insecurity,” Schaps stated.
Along with the COVID-related challenges dealing with Cook dinner County Well being and different suppliers, the well being care system is bracing for a possible repeal of the Reasonably priced Care Act. Oral arguments are scheduled to start Nov. 10 within the Supreme Courtroom to find out the destiny of the landmark well being care legislation, which expanded the state’s Medicaid program and established a medical health insurance market for uninsured people, rising the variety of folks in Illinois with medical health insurance by greater than 800,000. An unknown extra quantity have gained protection below ACA provisions banning insurers from rejecting folks primarily based on pre-existing situations and permitting younger adults to remain on their dad and mom’ insurance coverage till age 26.
A repeal wouldn’t solely influence protection for pre-existing situations and preventive providers like most cancers screenings, but in addition end in at the very least 300,000 Cook dinner County residents dropping protection.
The lack of protection would end in larger charity care prices for well being care suppliers and Cook dinner County Well being specifically. The system’s two public hospitals, Stroger and Provident, supplied greater than half of all free look after low-income sufferers—about $348 million price—within the county in 2018, in line with the newest state information.
WBEZ first reported that Cook dinner County Well being’s unbiased board proposed Rocha as CEO.