Hospital CEOs Outline Challenges in a New World

A new report from Huron Consulting Group summarizes what hospital CEOs feel are the biggest challenges in a changing industry.

The core challenges are moving from volume to value, changing care delivery models, improving physician relationships and cost containment as reimbursement rates continue to fall.

The 17 CEOs, who also participated in a forum, say information technology plays a role in addressing the challenges, but they aren’t close to having the answers--or technology--as they seek to address market shifts. Following are a few thoughts from participating CEOs:

Mark Laney, Heartland Health: “We are not being intellectually honest about the new ‘covered lives’ under the healthcare insurance exchanges. If new patients come in at Medicaid rates, even primary care doctors will not open up their practices to them. We’ll have ‘covered lives’ with no place to go.”

Dan Wolterman, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System: “We’re working on figuring out what roles we can play in keeping populations healthy, rather than just reacting to illness. But this requires a very different infrastructure than we’ve got today. The most critical piece of this is building the I.T. infrastructure to manage the sheer amount of data coming through our organization and using it to manage patient populations and outcomes. We don’t have the data analytics to be successful in a new type of delivery. Even though we’ve made major investments for many years, we’re still not there yet.”

Dean Harrison, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare: “One of the most difficult things about moving more care delivery outside the hospital will be effectively providing patients with access to information about themselves and their conditions. As patients move among new and disconnected care delivery settings, their information has to be made available to them.”

The full 41-page report from Huron Consulting is available here.

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