Leadership
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Hospitals Find Their Role Diminished

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, October 18, 2013

Frankly, that's a welcome change, as long as health systems don't unfairly dominate one market such that it has de facto control over reimbursement rates in a given area. It reflects an acknowledgement by hospital and health system boards and senior leaders that in order to make the most of the transformation of the healthcare business model from volume to value, systems must influence and even control how patients move through the entire healthcare system, such as it is, not just through an acute phase of care.

Much of this transformation is understandable. For years, many have been pushing hospitals to be more cooperative with other sites of care. But that's been a hard sell. Regardless of how you feel about coordination of care, hospitals for too long decided that if it happened outside their four walls, it wasn't their responsibility.

And after all, why should it have been? The way they were paid certainly didn't encourage coordination, and patient outcomes were not part of any payment equation. But now that's changing, and no one wants to be known simply as a "hospital" anymore.

If you want to create an ACO, which, let's face it, whether substantive or not, is the way to show the world that you are truly focused on the continuum of care, you need all these pieces and parts. And you need innovative leaders to run them. Sure, you can create effective care transitions without owning the pieces, but it's more complex, and the last thing most healthcare leaders want is more complexity on their daily calendars.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

3 comments on "Hospitals Find Their Role Diminished"


David Hold (10/23/2013 at 3:07 PM)
I agree that may be a solution another solution is for hospital administrators to learn basic principal of finance and instead of focusing what can I bill for it focus on the bottom line and realize that you just being able to bill for it does not guarantee profitability. Savings and eliminating waste can have the same effect on bottom line

bob sigmond (10/18/2013 at 3:41 PM)
Your "traditional hospital" is almost all gone. Today, hospital income from in-patient care in almost all the hospitals with which I am familiar makes up less than half of the total. The majority comes from ambulatory and related services. Check it out. Also, today, hospitals have the opportunity to entirely eliminate being paid from fees-for-service by contracting out the entire billing and collection function to a Blue Cross Plan or insurer which will agree to pay a single monthly check for all services, based on a collaborative strategic plan and budget. The contract, of course, would provide for monitoring monthly income and expenditures to make necessary immediate adjustments when the budgeted projections of the bottom line turn out to be inadequate. Also, if the bottom line turns out to be positive, funds would be available for capital expenditures. This arrangement enables the hospital to concentrate on improving quality and access, as expenditures decline, with increasing emphasis on population and community care. For the contracting hospital, there is no longer any uncompensated care, and no unpleasant involvement with patients about collections, and no longer any worries about the bottom line. For more information about this approach, call me at 215-561-5730, or e-mail. Right on, Bob

David Hold (10/18/2013 at 2:26 PM)
I can say finally the industry or at least some in the industry are waking up to reality. Over the past few years i have been preaching that the one thing the industry lacks is vision and they should be taking lessons from their banking colleagues who learned over a hundred years ago that if a customer wants to make a dollar deposit will not travel fifty miles to accomplish it however if he needs to borrow a large sum of money he will travel and that is called branching.