Huron Consulting Group Releases Huron Healthcare Report Providing Top Hospital Executives' Perspectives on Industry Issues for 2012
Healthcare CEOs Share Key Issues and Leadership Imperatives Crucial for Thriving Under Reform and the Current Economic Environment

CHICAGO, Jan 24, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN), a leading provider of business consulting services, today announced the release of a new Huron Healthcare report entitled, Leading Through Transformation: Top Healthcare CEOs' Perspectives on the Future of Healthcare, Insights from the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum.

The report shares insights from CEOs, and from executives outside the healthcare industry, who participated in the second annual Huron Healthcare CEO Forum. At the Forum, hospital executives had the opportunity to discuss strategies and best practices for leading their organizations through this time of significant change in the industry.

"The immense operational and financial challenges healthcare leaders are facing would be daunting for executives in any industry. And yet healthcare leaders across the country are stepping up to the challenge, carefully considering the way forward, and developing solutions that will shape the future of healthcare delivery in our country," said Gordon Mountford, executive vice president, Huron Healthcare. "The Forum provides hospital CEOs an opportunity to exchange ideas and share ways to enhance quality and improve affordability of healthcare."

The CEOs at the Forum addressed both the significant opportunities as well as the most pressing challenges for hospitals, health systems, and academic medical centers:

1) Moving From Volume to Value: Making the New Healthcare Business Model a Reality

Moving from the current volume-based business model to the future value-based model will require a fundamentally different approach to the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S.

"We are definitely moving toward fixed or bundled payment and away from making margin on volume. The old strategy is quickly becoming the high cost/low margin strategy. Unfortunately, we get to run these two opposing strategies simultaneously. You can live in two business models for a while, but not forever," said Dan Wolterman, president and CEO, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, Texas.

2) Changing the Care Delivery Model: Reimagining the Who, What, When, Where, and How of Delivering Care

The fundamental imperative for moving the healthcare business model from volume to value involves re-imagining the care delivery model in ways that make care more efficient and effective.

"Hospitals need to provide many different access points throughout the community so that patients can seek care in more convenient locations at times that make sense for them. Once the patient presents at any access point, the system's goal then becomes delivering the right care in the appropriate setting for each individual patient. Where it's appropriate, more and more care will be delivered by providers other than doctors," said Dean Harrison, president and CEO, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago, Ill., and chair of the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum.

3) Physician Relationships: Imperatives for Achieving Alignment

Physicians play a crucial role in remaking the healthcare delivery system. The decisions they make affect care quality, cost, and outcomes. However, CEOs are still challenged with developing the kinds of relationships with physicians that drive positive, economical clinical outcomes.

"We use the Mayo dyad model to create what I call 'healthy friction.' We have to emphasize in that pairing, it's not that one physician is solely looking at things operationally, and one looking at things solely clinically. They have to work together," said Bryan Mills, president and CEO, Community Health Network in Indianapolis, Ind.

4) Cost Containment: Coping With Significantly Reduced Reimbursement Rates

Fundamental changes to the care delivery system, including reducing utilization and transforming the care delivery model, are unquestionably the path to containing costs. This is not only an imperative for individual organizations, but also for the country, as healthcare spending continues to grow.

"We need to use scale to reduce fixed expenses as a percentage of our total cost base, and reduce other expenses by changing the work of the caregivers and relating it to improved patient outcomes and higher satisfaction," said Marna Borgstrom, president and CEO, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven, Conn., and co-chair of the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum.

Attendees at the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum represented a broad range of organizations, from larger multi-hospital systems to smaller community hospitals, across urban and rural communities. The CEO Forum report also shares valuable insights on transformative leadership and innovation from the CEO attendees, and from experts outside the healthcare industry. A few of the key themes discussed were modeling optimism, communicating in ways that inspire, engaging multiple generations, and developing physician leaders.

Leading Through Transformation: Top Healthcare CEOs' Perspectives on the Future of Healthcare, Insights from the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum is available for PDF download at

About Huron Healthcare

Huron Healthcare partners with clients to provide comprehensive performance improvement solutions that improve quality, increase revenue, reduce expenses, and increase physician, patient, and employee satisfaction across the healthcare enterprise. Clients include national and regional integrated healthcare systems, leading academic medical centers, community hospitals and physician practices. Modern Healthcare ranked Huron Healthcare third on its 2011 list of the top 20 largest healthcare management consulting firms. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter: @Huron

About Huron Consulting Group

Huron Consulting Group helps clients in diverse industries improve performance, comply with complex regulations, reduce costs, recover from distress, leverage technology, and stimulate growth. The Company teams with its clients to deliver sustainable and measurable results. Huron provides services to a wide variety of both financially sound and distressed organizations, including healthcare organizations, Fortune 500 companies, leading academic institutions, medium-sized businesses, and the law firms that represent these various organizations. Learn more at

SOURCE: Huron Consulting Group

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