Leadership Health Care News

January 25, 2018

LHC Members Hear from Joey Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Acadia Healthcare

LHC Members Hear from Joey Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Acadia Healthcare

(l. to r.) Bryan Kaegi, senior vice president of government relations for Acadia Healthcare (moderator) and Joey Jacobs, chairman and CEO, Acadia Healthcare.

Last week, Leadership Health Care (LHC) members attended an Executive Briefing series discussion with Joey Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Acadia Healthcare, the largest provider of behavioral health services in both the United States and United Kingdom. During the discussion, Jacobs shared insights into Acadia’s role in the behavioral health space, the difference between providing care in the U.S. vs. the U.K. and advice he has for emerging leaders in health care.

Jacobs began the discussion by highlighting the diverse types of patients Acadia treats in its facilities—from someone with an eating disorder, to someone struggling with opioid addiction, to someone who is suicidal, to someone who has a severe mental health diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder. He emphasized the need to get those who struggle with mental health issues the help they need, because help is available.

“Our tagline is improving the lives we touch,” said Jacobs. “We know if we can make progress with an individual patient, we can help an entire family make progress. If you know someone who needs help, get them help. We can help them.”

Jacobs went on to discuss the difference in providing behavioral health care in the United States vs. the United Kingdom, where they have a single-payer, government run health care system. One of the main differences he highlighted is the clinical path for a patient in the two countries.

“Obviously, a single payer system is something that sets the U.K. apart from the U.S.,” said Jacobs. “But something that really stands out to me is that in the U.K., a patient’s length of stay is as long as they need to recover. It could be weeks, months or even over a year. Their health care system does not want to see a patient coming back, they want the patient doing well. With the reimbursement system we have in the U.S., oftentimes patients aren’t approved to stay with us long enough to even finish treatment.”

Based on his 40 years of experience in the health care industry, Jacobs said he would tell his younger self to be humble because every organization needs a CEO who is humble and willing to pitch in where needed. He went on to provide some career advice to those in the audience as well.

“There are a few key pieces of advice I’d like to impart on all the future leaders in the audience today,” said Jacobs. “Keep your word; work real hard; learn to read body language; and listen.”

This executive briefing was part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care (LHC) initiative, offering members insight from national industry leaders in an interactive setting. For more information about LHC, visit www.leadershiphealthcare.com.


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