5 Ways to Prepare for Healthcare Change
With access to more information, a desire for flexibility and an increase in financial incentives, healthcare consumers are demanding more from their healthcare providers. This new world will require healthcare organizations to look at their businesses and industry differently. Five healthcare leaders predict what's to come and share tips on how to prepare.
1. Look to Retail
Healthcare organizations should look at other industries that are also under tremendous financial pressure — retail, for example. Retailers like Amazon have invented new business models organized around consumers’ jobs to be done1 and have found a way to drive a more sustainable economic formula. The lesson for healthcare is to organize care around individuals and jobs to be done instead of around deliverers. Solve problems that matter to individuals. There’s a primary care startup in the Boston area called Iora Health. Its care model is designed to understand the individual and amass an integrated care team to address the problems that really matter to that patient.
- Andrew Waldeck, Managing Director for Strategy and Innovation, Huron
2. Pursue Partnerships
Healthcare organizations will need to figure out how to partner because we can’t be really good at everything. Hartford HealthCare is partnering with General Electric to access its data analytics capability and imaging expertise. We’re creating a command center for managing the demand for healthcare services against our capacity for healthcare services — from ICU beds to MRIs, and everything in between. CEOs should ask, “How do we create an organization that the best in business wants to partner with and how do we craft that partnership?”
- Elliot Joseph, CEO, Hartford Healthcare
3. Understand Evidence
Healthcare leaders have to be far more sophisticated in understanding evidence. You hear leaders thinking the program they implemented generated more value, saved more money or improved outcomes more than it actually did. They say, “We came up with a program to target high-cost patients and that reduced medical spending by 12 percent.” They forget that spending on high-cost patients falls even if you do nothing. Hospital CEOs don’t need to be trained in evidence, but they do need staff who can help them understand what works and what doesn’t.
- Amitabh Chandra, Malcom Wiener Professor of Social Policy and Director of Health Policy Research, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
4. Increase Price Transparency
There’s such a lack of price transparency. Even for standard procedures that are done, most places cannot give patients information on what their payment structure is going to be and what the total charge is going to be. Things like bundled payments are going to force us and also bring transparency into the system. We’ll have to tell the patient, “This is your portion; this is your insurance portion; and this is how it’s going to be divided.”
- Avijit Gosh, M.D., CEO, University of Illinois Hospital
5. Manage Costs
A lot of hospitals will be shifting to outpatient facilities. They can certainly gobble up physician practices, but coordinating and integrating them has largely not been done. Not that many are efficient across the continuum. They really have to get their cost structure under control and go through a rigorous process of lean engineering — getting out a lot of excess costs and being able to lower their cost structure.
- Ezekiel Emanuel, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania