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Facing the Care Coordination Challenge

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2012

"At the Carilion Clinic, we're focusing on managing chronic care because that's where we see the greatest need and the opportunity to reduce costs," he says. "But there's a behavioral aspect to it. We see care coordinators not only coordinating the clinical work, but just helping patients manage their life."
Count Jacobsen among the CEOs who consider care coordination at their organization as a "work in progress." Some 59% of CEOs, however, say care coordination is strong or very strong in their organization.

"I'm really surprised at that figure," Jacobsen says. "For us, the infrastructure is there to make it strong, but we have more work to do because so much of this depends on labor supply in the case of physicians and care coordinators."

Of course, there is an acute shortage of both competencies in the healthcare marketplace.

Apparently, there's also a shortage of physicians who are interested in senior leadership, as 36% of CEOs who responded to the survey have zero physicians in their senior leadership structure. That number would likely be even higher if respondents from physician practices (26% of the CEOs) were excluded from the results. Jacobsen says organizations that fail to place physicians in the top level of the management hierarchy are missing a critical piece of their strategy to improve care and cut waste.

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