"If you aren't running fast by now, then 2011 is the time. Otherwise your ED will be overrun and you'll be in dire straits," he said.
He's not wrong—with all the newly insured coming in 2013 and not enough primary care doctors to meet this new-patient influx—these patients will likely head to your emergency department. But what made that point so interesting to me was the "act now!" nature of it. Still, no clear definition of how, though.
I'm currently researching an article for an upcoming edition of HealthLeaders magazine that looks at new models for medical group success. My research is offering some answers to the "how". I asked Medical Group Management Association president and CEO Dr. William Jessee, FACMPE, FACPM, what he sees taking place.
"With all the ACO hype, folks are trying to figure out how to create these organizations, but they aren't looking at how they can be different tomorrow. Now is where the opportunities lie to improve quality, safety and patient satisfaction for tomorrow," he says. "With some creative engineering of work, they can get some impressive results."
So it comes back to innovation. There are models out there for folks to start from, but the thing about a starting point is it's just that – a place to begin. A finished and tested solution – which so many in healthcare long for – is not possible. Why? Simply, each market is vastly different. The needs and health issues of each community are different. So what works at Virginia Mason Medical Center may not work at Geisinger or at your facility. You cannot afford to wait for a packaged unilateral solution when applying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.