As the new CEO of radiology services provider, OptimalIMX, Jonathan Grimes confesses he’s not as up-to-speed on the more technical aspects of the industry as he’d like—but that’s okay. Change is good.
“I’ve been in healthcare for 35 years and one thing’s for sure: there’s no homeostasis,” he says. “But I think that in this disruption there’s an opportunity to do some creative things that affect outcome and quality.”
In the executive suite at TeamHealth, where Grimes spent 11 years, or as the CEO of three HCA hospitals and a health system in Hawaii, he learned the value of a solid foundation in creating a successful healthcare infrastructure. That’s why, he says, he’s seeking traditional, measured growth for the business.
“We’ve got to continue to grow,” Grimes says. “We’ve got very high-quality physicians and a great infrastructure, and that infrastructure can support growth. By adding new physician groups across the country, my primary objective is to make sure the technology infrastructure continues to evolve.”
Grimes was hired for his expertise in practice management and integration issues, and he aims to extend those frontiers through digital means. To do that, he’ll leverage the company’s teleradiology and distributed QA services—pillars around which, he says, everybody’s consolidating on the payer side.
Still, declining-reimbursement trends and an increased emphasis on cost reduction are pressuring healthcare payers and providers to provide a quantitatively valuable service at a quantitatively inexpensive price.
“When your fee-for-service challenges are such that you continue to take declining reimbursement with higher levels of expectations of quality, there’s an endpoint in that game,” Grimes says.
In a world where teleradiology is available to provide general and specialty radiology support and very quick turnarounds, any hospital can have a high-quality physician staff, he says.
“Optimal's objective is to be that solution for our hospital clients,” Grimes says. “We have a very broad base of specialists connected through teleradiology networks. We can bring a high level of specialty care to any hospital in the country.
“When we can really take financial risk for the imaging services for a defined population, that’s where the industry’s evolving,” he says.