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Healthcare Reform Mythbusting

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 9, 2012

(Incidentally, respondents were only allowed to pick one of 10 possible answers so this choice by 30% of respondents represents a huge amount).

For perspective, improving patient experience and patient flow was the top priority for only 17%, the next most common choice. These findings, however, arrayed against others in the report, don't suggest that there's a universal prescription for achieving care coordination and improving quality of care.

In fact, the dominant idea that physician employment and the move to an ACO is essential to long-term survival may yet be proved a myth—at least for some organizations.

Mina Ubbing, chief executive officer of 222-bed Fairfield Medical Center outside Columbus, OH (in Lancaster, to be specific), is doing neither of these things—at least not in the strictest sense. Yet the 25-year veteran of the health system and 11-year CEO isn't standing still on business strategy either. So let's attack these two possible myths using Ubbing's logic.

1. You don't have to employ all (or even most) of your physicians
"By definition our hospital is a tweener," Ubbing says. "We're a voice in the healthcare industry that's sometimes missed. We're not rural, but we're also not in the same box as the major metros."

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