Scrutiny for Clinical Technology
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Stephen L. Moore, MDSenior Vice President and CMO
Englewood (Colo.) Catholic Health Initiatives
A couple of things are driving the challenges. Whether economically related to the recession or related more to the changing of health benefits by employers, the entire industry is seeing a significant decrease in volume and patient revenue related to volume, which then starts to call into question the ability to fund your capital needs. The second is more reflective of what we are doing at CHI: a complete reorientation of our capital investments (that used to be going toward new hospitals and putting new technology into our hospitals), which is now moving more toward what we call strategic capital. We are investing more in data analytics to prepare ourselves for population health and clinical IT infrastructure foundations including health information exchanges, EHR, and then strategic joint ventures where we are spending money to strengthen our regional presence either with out-and-out mergers and acquisitions or less so with the technology and products to offer.
We have solidified more of our discussions around a capital review committee process in our organization. A current decision was bringing in the TAVR [trans-aortic valve replacement], which you can do with a non-cardiac surgery valve implant at the top of the heart. It makes little sense financially from a Medicare reimbursement perspective, but it is cutting-edge technology that will not only help bring recognition regionally to parts of the organization that are performing this, but also will add a lot of value to the clinical literature as well. That is an example of where we have taken a comprehensive look at a clinical improvement technology that we have decided to go ahead with, even though it may not have had the best financial outcomes.
This article appears in the November 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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