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Lead Transformation: Accelerate Value, Quality and Coordination

Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2010
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What Works Tomorrow

Leaders are successful because they know what works. But in today's environment of change, what has worked may not be the same as what will work. A gathering of forward-thinking executives hosted by HealthLeaders Media reveals what it will take to transform not just healthcare organizations, but also healthcare leadership.

Change is difficult in any industry, but nowhere more so than healthcare. The leadership structures and processes that may have worked for decades are ill-suited for the challenges ahead and must be transformed, so say the eight healthcare leaders who spoke at HealthLeaders Media's annual leadership event, "Lead Transformation: Accelerate Value, Quality, and Coordination" held in Dallas recently.

The panels featured six hospital, health plan, and medical group CEOs, including the winners of the 2010 Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare Awards program. The pace of change in healthcare is one of the reasons that it may be hard to address key questions about how to deliver value, says Hal Teitelbaum, MD, the CEO of Crystal Run Healthcare, a 200-physician multispecialty group practice based in Middletown, NY.

"The biggest challenge is to change the embedded business practices and systems that all of us in healthcare have in place," Teitelbaum said. "The Institute of Medicine has pointed out that from the time we discover something until the time that it becomes the mode or standard of care is 17 years. The reason is that the average physician practices maybe 30 to 35 years. Basically, it is the half life of the physician; half the physicians have to leave practice and be replaced before the new approach is taken."

Christina Severin, CEO of Boston-based Network Health, a health plan that covers 160,000 low- and moderate-income Massachusetts residents, says she has seen what has happened as the state began universal coverage as the economy faded, which could provide some insight into what happens as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes forward nationally.

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