Based on conversations with hospital CEOs, healthcare consulting firm Huron Healthcare ranks the top 5 issues keeping healthcare leaders up at night:
1. Change management: With the amount of market-driven and reform-driven change affecting healthcare providers, CEOs are troubled by how they can prioritize cost and quality imperatives to allow their organization to thrive.
2. Community engagement: CEOs worry about how to reach beyond the walls of their organization – to public health authorities, non-profit groups and others – to engage with key community partners to help improve the health of diverse patient populations.
3. Clinical alignment and integrated care delivery: CEOs are challenged with the imperative of creating higher quality, more affordable, more accountable care models. Aligning physicians with this core aim may be easier in theory than reality.
4. ACOs: With uncertainty surrounding what accountable care means for providers, CEOs are unsure of how market and reform forces will move their organizations with regard to managing population health broadly. They also question if they should focus on creating integrated care models for certain populations.
5. New payment models: CEOs are concerned about effectively leading their organizations through the transition from a volume-based payment model to a value-based payment model.
“Leadership at every organization needs to be clear on the impact and timing of healthcare reform initiatives and their resulting change in payment methodologies, assess their total economic exposure and create systematic plans to prepare for worst-case scenarios,” said Gordon Mountford, executive vice president, Huron Healthcare. “Going through this process with key organizational leadership in an intensive, focused way will go a long way to set the agenda for prioritization of activity.
“Moving from a model that incentivizes hospitals for volume to one that incentivizes them for value will require a re-imagining of care delivery, and a move toward new partnerships and relationships focused on wellness and preventative care,” continued Mountford.
“The immense operational and financial shifts healthcare leaders are facing would be daunting for executives in any industry,” concluded Mountford. “And yet healthcare leaders across the country are stepping up to the challenge, carefully considering the way forward and developing solutions that will shape the future of healthcare delivery in our country.”