Patricia Webb, senior vice president and CHRO at Catholic Health Initiatives, says the Denver-based health system remains focused on the use of primary care physicians and allied care professionals, such as nurse practitioners to improve population health and promote wellness.
"At the rate healthcare costs are growing we had to modify how we take care of patients and focus more on population health and preventive care that is going to happen and that is what needs to happen from our perspective," Webb says.
"It is driven more by the economics of it and if for some reason the Affordable Care Act is not passed and whatever happens the population is still going to need to access healthcare and we have to be in a position to provide it. The best way to do that is to do it in a way that provides the quality that needs to be provided, with appropriate access in a cost effective way," she says.
Webb says CHI isn't "putting anything on hold" as the system and its 70,000 employees look to the future.
"We know that even today and projected into the near future we are going to have continued shortages with primary care physicians, nurses, and other allied health professions," she says. "We are not going to stop recruiting those professionals or looking forward to address those issues. That's the direction we're moving in, and I think that is true for healthcare in general. If we stay focused, I think we'll be fine."