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Live From Top Leadership Teams: Lay Waste to Waste

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, October 17, 2008

Just a quick note about the goings-on here in Chicago at HealthLeaders Media's Top Leadership Teams events as I wrap up a busy day at about 11 p.m. Today I helped kick off the event at 9 a.m. with a panel entitled "Lay Waste to Waste: How to cut the cost of doing business."

What struck me during the event was the open sharing of successful ideas among a large group of panelists and a roomful of senior leaders in healthcare.

As many of you know, healthcare administration makes up 30 cents of every dollar spent on care, in large part because healthcare has been slow to adapt to techniques that can successfully cut the cost of doing business. But that doesn't mean that there aren't many who can teach valuable lessons about providing value to patients, which was essentially the focus of my panel. Of course, it's impossible to distill 90 minutes of lessons into a short blog entry, but our experts from Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Geisinger Health System and Firelands Regional Medical Center kept the audience rapt with attention with strategies they've used to help cut the cost of doing business in healthcare. It's easy to moderate such a panel when essentially, all you have to do is push the start button. The essence of what was said boils down to this: cutting the cost of care is essential to being able to provide healthcare to the largest portion of people. I'll share more later in the magazine but the fact that these people truly believe that cutting costs and improving efficiency—not necessarily in that order—is the best way to provide better and less expensive care and I truly admire their dedication to their nonprofit mission.

Tomorrow we'll distribute the Top Leadership Teams awards, which will truly be inspirational, as those teams share their success stories with the audience.

—Philip Betbeze

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