Hospitals Find Their Role Diminished

Philip Betbeze, October 18, 2013

The traditional hospital has become not only a high-cost boogeyman, but also a sign of the limits of a CEO's leadership capabilities. Buttressing a financially vulnerable hospital's business with ancillary services is one way CEOs are being innovative. Now other industry players need to catch up.

It used to be easier for reporters to cover hospitals.

There were hospitals—defined by providing inpatient care almost exclusively—and there was everything else. And never the twain should meet.

But the definition of what a hospital is has been getting blurrier and blurrier over the years.

Hospitals, increasingly, are a part of the whole. If they have not grown by branching out into other areas of greater opportunity in recent years, they've been absorbed by other organizations that have already made the transition into owning more and more pieces of the healthcare continuum, from rehab facilities and surgery centers to health clubs and even hospice.

The hospital has become not only the high-cost boogeyman, but also a sign of the limits of your capabilities. No organization wants to be known as "X Hospital" anymore. At least on a corporate level, it's "Health" or "Healthcare," which is thought to connote the idea that these organizations are not just for acute services anymore—they are the soup-to-nuts answer for your healthcare needs.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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