"In the next several years a lot of models will be tested and we will see what works in what market. But as they say, 'If you've seen one model; you've seen one model,'" says Jessee. "The longer I'm in healthcare the more I know there is no single formula that will work in every area … the solution is what works for the hospital and with the payers."
Though many cringe at the lack of specificity and guidance in the Health Care Reform legislation, vagueness is an opportunity for innovation. Failing to recognize that opportunity will surely affect your finances in the future, but embracing it offers the potential for success. Indeed, there is financial success to be had with taking an innovative approach to areas like quality, safety, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. Though as many of the trailblazers – organizations such as Intermountain Health Care, Geisinger, Mayo Clinic, Virginia Mason and Cleveland Clinic – will tell you, you may lose some money upfront.
Innovation doesn't come without a price tag, yet it often offers a return on investment. In this case, it may start out by offering your hospital or health system a return in better quality, patient satisfaction, and outcomes. These early, nonfinancial successes will ultimately bring rewards to your bottom line, but you should anticipate that it will take several years to occur.
Though we'd all like to pick apart the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the new ACO guidelines, the fact remains they are in place and they provide a spark of invention. Turning that spark into a blaze of innovation is entirely up to those who put this information into practice. It's truly an exciting time in healthcare. Embrace the opportunities that come with it.