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Developing Leadership and Reassessing Strategy

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media, June 13, 2013
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This article appears in the June issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Healthcare business models are being undermined and overturned—yet the best approaches for the future are unclear. Consider service lines, the traditional structure for operating healthcare profitably. According to our latest monthly Intelligence Report (excerpted beginning on page 20), the need to expand services along the care continuum is driving many healthcare leaders to reevaluate the strategic fit of their service lines. The impact on future revenue is uncertain.

At the same time, a race to acquire physician practices is under way, as detailed in our cover story. Leaders view primary care as a source for referrals, despite sometimes steep financial losses from the practices themselves. Yet primary care is being commoditized today by retail and urgent care clinics. Healthcare leaders seek the strategic sweet spot between high-cost inpatient utilization and low-acuity care. Senior Leadership Editor Philip Betbeze discusses three approaches: the integrator, the player-coach, and the disruptor. Which is right for your organization?

The strategic choices and big decisions that healthcare leaders make during this period of upheaval will determine their organizations’ success far into the future and, in some cases, whether the organizations have a future. Leaders must face down the many conundrums in healthcare today, including the care continuum, population health management, risk-sharing, and patient compliance.

How can leaders recognize the right moves? The future of healthcare is impossible to know, of course, and no single person can get every decision right. Understanding this, many organizations have consciously cultivated an internal culture of leadership, with multiple leaders at different levels being groomed, empowered, and expected to make good decisions.

I recently moderated a Roundtable discussion with the CEOs of Capella Healthcare, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Scripps Health, and B. E. Smith to talk about how they go about developing leaders and organizational cultures capable of facing the challenges ahead. Read the transcript of the discussion, starting on page 24, for insights into leadership cultures, sources of inspiration, and the rapid pace of change today.

The full portfolio of HealthLeaders Media publications and products covers the business of healthcare from the perspectives of CEOs, financial heads, clinical leaders, technology executives, and all those who run healthcare organizations. Every weekday we chronicle and comment on industry happenings at HealthLeadersMedia.com, in addition to writing about the big issues facing healthcare leaders in the pages of this magazine. I encourage you to make full use of our range of content, and let me know your reactions and ideas for the future.


This article appears in the June issue of HealthLeaders magazine.


Edward Prewitt is the Editorial Director of HealthLeaders Media.
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