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Martin says some of the more advanced managed teams are creating "tier two strategies" that involve a total process redesign to improve patient admitting, processing, and billing.
"It's more of the core way the hospital operates, things like reducing length of stay and implementing technology strategies so you can collect more data and reduce the variations in practice," she says. "There are also revenue strategies. Though in order to combat the reimbursement reductions, some are focusing on growth strategies, which can include mergers and acquisitions and also may include things like building patient outpatient centers."
McPherson says he's encouraged by the spirit of cooperation that nonprofit hospitals have undertaken during the down economy. "If there is an area that needs a new hospital or specialty program they are setting up joint ventures for those sorts of new facilities so they don't necessarily duplicate one another or staffing for specialized care because those resources are scarce," he says.
"There are other examples where folks are getting together and sharing ideas, sitting down and saying 'here is what we are doing to improve efficiency and quality. What are you doing?' I think it has turned into a much more collaborative environment," he says.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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