Matt Troup Says There's More Than Conway to Grow

Matt Troup Says There's More Than Conway to Grow
Matt Troup
President and CEO, Conway Regional Health System (Jason Burt)

Matt Troup became president and CEO of Conway Regional in 2015 after CHI St. Vincent Health System announced a management agreement with Conway Regional Health System. He had been vice president of ancillary and support services of CHI St. Vincent and COO and site administrator of Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida.

Troup graduated from Texas A&M University in College Station and got his master’s in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He has served in health care administration since 1998.

In January, you testified before the Legislature’s Joint Performance Review Committee about concerns over the contract under which your competitor, Baptist Health-Conway, pays the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide physician services. What’s the status of the committee’s inquiry into that situation?
The JPRC requested information from UAMS in that session and intended to have further dialogue with the incoming chancellor, Dr. Cam Patterson, upon his arrival. We continue to express concerns over the matter and find many legislators and health care colleagues across the state very supportive of our position.

Are there any challenges unique to a hospital in a rapidly growing city like Conway?
Conway’s population growth is just under 1 percent annually, which equates to approximately 1,000 new residents. In terms of health care utilization, that equates to a minimal amount of new volume.

Our challenge in Conway isn’t accommodating new population growth, but rather in becoming a regional provider of care. Conway Regional’s growth has been focused in that regard, providing services not previously available here such as spine surgery, infectious disease care, vascular surgery and rheumatology, in addition to underserved services such as neurology. Conway Regional is constantly evolving into a destination for health care, just as Conway is becoming more of a retail destination.

What aspect of health care keeps you up at night?
Americans tend to view health as a product one can acquire — similar to a car, house or other good or service. That, I believe, has led to tremendous growth in expense (new facilities and expansion) and utilization with little to no improvement in health. This is evidenced by the fact that, as a country, we pay more and get less for our health care dollar. However, the drivers of health aren’t in new buildings; they are often determined by social factors like housing, education and employment. As we strive to improve health outcomes at lower costs, health systems will be entering new territory: impacting social determinants and preventive community-based medicine to lower utilization and improve health. That’s a new way of operating for many organizations in this country.

Mistakes can be our best teachers. What was your biggest career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Several years ago I was enticed to leave an organization and position where I was valued and appreciated for a promotion in another state. The new position ultimately didn’t work out and I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t underestimate cultural fit and values alignment when considering a new position or role. Health care leaders hold a position of privilege. I’m privileged to serve and I appreciate more than most, because of that experience, that such privilege is not guaranteed or entitled. Pursuit of a promotion for promotion’s sake will fail if it lacks fit. No amount of talent or money can change that. You will always be better off staying in an organization that values you than you will in an organization with different values.