The focus of American hospital medicine, to reduce length of stay and associated costs, has had a harmful side effect: Patients often ended up back in the hospital for the same condition. To successfully prevent readmissions requires many players to fill the gaps in the care continuum that have developed among hospitals, physician practices, community health resources, skilled nursing, and even patients themselves.
Healthcare is rich in data. Yet healthcare lags in using data analytics to learn about the people it serves and to improve its operations and bottom line. Leaders are overcoming structural and cultural hurdles to involve many end users—executives, managers, and clinicians—as well as analysts.
Given a reimbursement model based on outcomes, not volume, only those surgical services that can deliver state-of the-art care, value, and an outstanding patient experience will survive. Now leaders must find new ways of approaching surgical care and strategy.
Your emergency department is at the forefront of access and quality. Dynamic health systems are maximizing the efficiency, throughput, and patient experience of today’s ED in a shrinking reimbursement environment. Hospitals and physicians are also envisioning how the ED fits into a coordinated care system, with appropriate care given at multiple access points.
One of the key elements of healthcare reform has been to encourage hospitals, health systems, physicians, and health plans to integrate resources to provide more efficient, cost-effective healthcare. With gaps in guidance on what exactly an ACO should be, healthcare organizations have forged ahead with a myriad of strategies around clinical integration to create the foundations for accountable care.
Collaboration, data, and process improvement are essential to lower costs and raise quality, and such efforts are even more important now as the healthcare industry enters the reform era.
The rules of healthcare are changing. Today, growth isn’t about just getting bigger. It’s about developing all of the components needed for coordinated care and reduced costs.
In the rush to implement healthcare information technology, providers might miss crucial steps to get the most from their systems and best reengineer care processes to provide higher quality and better value.
Right now in progressive health systems medical researchers and physicians are laboring jointly to bring the practical benefits of personalized medicine to the frontlines of healthcare delivery. Personalized medicine is where genetic testing, health IT, and patient-centered care intersect and where high-value healthcare will live in the foreseeable future.
Why is it that in times of economic stress, some hospitals manage through with strength to spare while others fall? While it may be tempting to say that those hospitals that thrive have the best payer mix or the most profitable service lines, often the deciding factor is leadership's commitment to core principles of sound financial management. The trick is that there is no trick.
The current relationship between hospitals and physicians has been built around rewarding for volume of services and not quality. That model is breaking down as reformers in Washington have hospital and physician inefficiency in their sights, with Medicare pushing toward value-based purchasing and experimenting with a payment system that rewards a system of coordinated care.
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