BH HealthSouth 400Jay Grinney, chief executive officer of HealthSouth Corporation, says that when setting its strategy his company has confronted and then embraced the upheaval currently underway in how health care providers are paid. Grinney made a return visit to the UAB Collat School of Business on November 3, 2015 when he met with students in the combined MBA and undergraduate capstone class “Strategic leadership through the eyes of the C-Suite.”

HealthSouth has long been a major player in inpatient rehabilitation services, and currently serves 28% of all Medicare patients who receive such services in the United States. Spurred by the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Medicare and other health care payors are now pressing health care providers like HealthSouth to find ways to share risk and reduce costs. Mr. Grinney predicted that the result of such pressure will likely be fewer “silos” in post-acute health care. Today, such services are provided not only in inpatient rehabilitation facilities, but also in long-term acute care hospitals, in skilled nursing facilities, and at home by home health and hospice care providers.


A group of students who had studied the strategy of HealthSouth in depth made a presentation to Mr. Grinney and asked several questions, including what the cultural fit was between HealthSouth and the recently-acquired home health care companies. Mr. Grinney noted that HealthSouth was viewing these acquired companies as partners and indeed has maintained the separate corporate headquarters for Encompass in Texas. (It should be noted that when Mr. Grinney visited with students in this course in 2014, they recommended expansion into the home health field, and in fact the company did so just a few weeks later.)Grinney predicted that the future will bring not only fewer separate facilities for post-acute services, but also facilities that can deliver a full range of these services, from low acuity to high acuity, thereby making it easier to share risk and reduce costs. To that end, HealthSouth has recently acquired two skilled home health services providers, Encompass Home Health & Hospice and CareSouth. In short, a threat has been converted to an opportunity.

“Strategic leadership through the eyes of the C-Suite” is taught by School of Business professor Stephen Yoder, and features visits from “C Suite” executives from public or other large complex organizations who discuss their organizations’ strategies and how they are developed and implemented.

Pictured left to right: Mr. Grinney, Andrew Thrash, Colton Spates, Devin O’Rourke, Kathleen Neighbors, Imani Burnett-Byard