Wound care center management has to do with the oversight and administering of policies and procedures for a wound care center (a medical clinic or hospital department that uses hyperbaric medicine or oxygen to heal non-healing wounds). Wound care centers are often outpatient facilities (like emergency centers), either attached to a hospital, or simply affiliated with a hospital or set of hospitals but located at some separate physical location to make it more accessible to the community.
Wound care center managers are responsible for patient flow, healing rates, and the fiscal strength of the center. Because wound care is in high demand today, many hospital executives are looking into adding wound care units to their hospitals. There is a proven opportunity for financial gain.
The problem with wound care center management:
Wound care is difficult to administer, and the cost of developing and running a wound care center is very high. Because of the level of difficulty involved in running a wound care center, and because of consistently changing legal policies, hospitals turn to wound care center management companies to help run and manage their wound care units. These companies specialize in the administering of hyperbaric medicine, as well as dealing with compliance issues that arise due to the revolving door of laws that come into and out of existence from Washington and local law makers. Because wound care center management is so specialized, many wound care center management companies have developed profit models that give the lion's share of net revenues to the management company as opposed to the hospital.
Some wound care management companies have been known to develop an environment of dependence - where the wound center managers hire the personnel and staff, purchase and own all of the equipment, and design management models that, in essence, hold the hospital hostage. This happens because hospitals can rarely foot the bill for hyperbaric equipment and when a center is established in a community it becomes a valuable asset to its residents. This gives the hospital very little wiggle room. If the hospital hires a new wound care center management company, the hospital risks losing the center's trained personnel as well as all or most of its hyperbaric equipment - a very cost prohibitive decision to make. If the hospital chooses to close its center, it dissolves an extremely valuable service to its local community.
Today, some wound care management companies are combating this approach by implementing a model that allows hospitals to essentially own their centers. Wound Care Advantage, a wound care center management company out of Sierra Madre, CA, for example, has developed a management model that puts hospitals in the driver's seat, so to speak. Under the Wound Care Advantage model, wound care center employees are employed by the hospital, not the wound care management company. That way, if the hospital should ever need to switch management companies, it can do so easily. Similarly, this company will assist hospitals in purchasing the necessary hyperbaric equipment. They will help hospitals choose the best and most cost-effective solutions, or they will finance the hospitals and allow them to pay back the debt over the course of the contract. This model has been largely embraced by hospitals over the last 10 years.
As you can see, not every wound care center management company is created equal, and hospitals should do ample research before making a partnership decision.