What is it like to be a Healthcare Consultant? Here’s what Top Leaders at SHP are Saying

Spectrum Health Partners (SHP) is a boutique healthcare consulting firm based in the Nashville area. Established 15 years ago, Spectrum now includes the two founding Partners, 10 Principals, and more than 300 senior advisors. Structured in a similar fashion as a law firm or CPA group, SHP offers consulting services to lead hospitals, healthcare systems, physician groups, and other healthcare organizations – whether non-profit, for-profit or academic – through complicated, high-stakes processes to tackle vexing problems, maximize opportunities, restructure, and improve operations.

Four top leaders at Spectrum recently shared their thoughts and insights about the work they do as members of this elite consulting team. All have at least 25 years of experience serving as senior healthcare executives at hospitals and health systems, and additional years in their roles as outside advisors.

Ken Doran, CPA, Spectrum Co-founder, President/CEO: In addition to leading the entire organization, Ken oversees and also serves clients in the areas of Transaction Advisory and Post Transaction/Wind Down Services.

“There’s no engagement, large or small, that we won’t assist with. It’s all about helping the clients. To get the big things you’ve got to be willing to do the small things, and the small things are what lead to the bigger things.

We’ve done 26 or 27 different types of engagements over the years for some clients. They come to us for major projects, and also when they have a special initiative and they don’t possess the expertise or the extra staff, the bandwidth, to get the job done.

The reason we’ve been successful, in large part, is because we’re honest, we’re sincere and we don’t try to oversell. We present solutions customized for each client. We tell them what we can do, how much it will cost, we’ve got a great track record, and we let them make the decision.

We’ve got quality people in our firm with great education and backgrounds. Experience is worth a lot. For example, we can quickly look at a set of financial statements and make a determination of what the client can rely upon, where there’s potential fluff, and areas that need to be examined further. We pay attention to details. Our accuracy rate has been 99.9% and we maintain confidentiality in all respects.

We’re very competitive with our pricing, and we always encourage our people to make sure, that either through revenue enhancement or expense reduction, there is an amount that exceeds what the client is paying us in professional fees and expenses. We’re always successful in that regard, with an average four times ROI for our clients.”

Will Moore, CPA, CIRA, FHFMA, Co-Founder and Partner at SHP: Will’s niche areas are Strategic Planning, Change Management, Restructuring, Transaction Support and Interim Leadership.

“Consultants have the benefit of going out into different environments where we see a lot of situations and are constantly learning new things. We have opportunities to expand our knowledge base more quickly from the consulting side than people in permanent positions at one institution.

My role has always been that of a generalist. I’m one of the folks who can broadly perform all the different services we offer.

I’ve had a variety of engagements over the years in all our fundamental areas – line management on an interim basis, transactional support, and operational improvements. I’m comfortable with all aspects of these areas. I enjoy going out and being involved in an engagement

Like the rest of the Spectrum Partners and Principals, I’m involved with sales and marketing. I’m also out as much with client-specific delivery, or even more so, than with the oversight role at the company. We’re typically actively involved with our engagements. We’re a very “hands-on” consulting firm. If you’re not close to what’s happening, you can’t fully know what’s going on. And you’ve got to be willing and able to wear a lot of hats while you’re working on an engagement.”

Mark Hartman, CPA, FHFMA, Spectrum Partner: Mark’s areas include Financial Restructuring, Merger and Acquisition Integrations, Due Diligence Reviews and Interim Leadership.

The folks we bring on at Spectrum are people who have done healthcare financial and operations management for a living. They’re at a point in their careers where they don’t want to work nine to five, or eight to six – or whatever it is ­– every day, five days a week, at the same office, week in, week out, month after month, year after year.

As consultants, we’re not going in with the same mentality that you would if you were taking the job on a permanent basis.

We bring a level of experience that’s invaluable. Every time we walk into a new facility, we’re drinking from a firehose. Because of the experience that our folks have, they’ve seen it, they’ve done it, they’ve lived through it before. It’s not something new to them. We don’t require a one-month honeymoon period of ramping up and getting to know what’s going on, etc. On day two I’m making recommendations already of what we need to be looking at and doing.

Sometimes there’s a new twist on the job, but 90 percent of what we see are things we’ve seen before. You’ve got different players, different facts and nuances about each place you go, and you work with those.

We’re going in and saying okay, I’ve got a limited amount of time, I’ve got to get certain things done, get things fixed and straightened up, so things are better and we achieve the outcomes we’ve been contracted to deliver.

That’s always our goal – to leave the hospital or healthcare organization or group in better shape than what we initially found. Whether that’s getting the financial statements done timely as a CFO, whether it’s working with the admitting staff to make sure we’re getting cash collected at the point of service, whether it’s making sure we’re recruiting new doctors, we’re improving throughput, and such.

It’s not unusual to fix two or three things a month when we’re there. Sometimes a lot more than that. Sometimes the problems are huge, like a piece of granite you have to chip away at.”

Cindy Segar-Miller, FACHE, Spectrum Principal: Cindy’s early career as an RN enhances her ability to work effectively with clinicians and improve quality practices. Her engagements include Turnaround Management, Interim Leadership, Operations Management, Physician Alignment, Performance Improvement and Patient Experience.

“The beauty of being part of an organization like Spectrum Health Partners is the depth and breadth of experience we bring to clients. We are a highly relationship-based company, where, as folks with over 25 years of experience, we pull from our previous exposures and relationships that have been built over decades.

With our team of principals, we cover a broad continuum of the most complex problems that are facing healthcare organizations today.

Rapid cycle assessment, communications, building rapport and credibility within the teams, and setting a clear pathway, followed by accountability, is where we’re very strong. That’s how we deliver excellent outcomes for the client.

We’ve seen things done in many different settings, whether it’s rural, academic, or large, urban settings, or in peripheral settings to the urban markets. The diversity, depth, and breadth of our experience over time is really a distinguisher for us as a group.

Because we’ve got those collective decades of experience, we’ve had exposure to seeing things done well, and seeing things done poorly. We know where the opportunity lies within a challenge.

As a team, we pool our collective knowledge, not only with the Principals and Partners, but also from our 300-plus associates that also come with a very strong base of knowledge. So, the Spectrum bench strength is very, very strong from a diverse number of environments and settings.

We often see things with a different viewpoint because we’re not enmeshed in the everyday operations of that building. I think everybody in their work environment develops cultural biases. You can walk by the same problem every day and not realize it’s a problem because it’s become part of your environment.

We have clients who will call us when it’s almost too late, because they have not been sensitive to impending signs of change or opportunities or the need to shift their focus and adjust.

One of our strong suits is being able to assess a market and look at what the market can bear and tolerate based on the demographics, the utilization of services within the market, and the competitive landscape. Helping organizations define who they want to be prior to getting to a crisis state is something we’re very good at.

The Spectrum people own the project to the level that the client wants us to own it. We work collaboratively with the existing teams and we take our directions from the client on what level of involvement and which aspects of the problem they want us to address.

Whether we’re on an engagement for several weeks, several months, or for over a year, we teach the folks on the ground the skills they need to be able to sustain the improvements long after we leave.”

To view Spectrum’s digital brochure, click here. To find out more about the Partners and Principals at Spectrum, click here. To submit your application for a position with SHP, go to this page.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Request a Free Consultation

How Can We Help You?