Already operating in one of the most labor-and capital-intensive of industries, healthcare leaders are caught at a critical strategic crossroads. As an army of payers arrays against the predominant fee-for-service payment system that has supported healthcare for more than 50 years, leaders can be paralyzed in determining how transformational they're prepared to be, and how quickly they'll take steps to get there.
And of course, by the time the right answer is easily apparent, it will be likely too late to make the changes necessary.
This is the key strategic issue facing healthcare leaders today: moving away from a system dedicated to paying for specific actions and toward paying for results.
It sounds simple, but only if you're looking at healthcare from the outside. One of the problems inherent in making the transition is that the entrenched business practices and operational imperatives that worked for one payment system will be huge disadvantages in the other.