Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare Releases Report Sharing Top
Hospital CEO Insights on Key Industry Issues for 2011
Hospital CEO Insights on Key Industry Issues for 2011
CHICAGO, Jan 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN), a leading provider of business consulting services, today announced the release of Leading the Healthcare Enterprise Through Unprecedented Change: Insights from the Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare CEO Forum.
The report shares insights from the healthcare CEOs who participated in the first annual Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare CEO Forum. At the Forum, CEOs from top healthcare organizations across the country - including leaders of large health systems, academic medical centers, integrated delivery systems, and community hospitals - met to discuss strategies and best practices to achieve success through transformative leadership in 2011 and beyond.
"The Forum provided an environment where industry leaders could freely discuss and strategize during this period of intense change and uncertainty," said Gordon Mountford, vice president, Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare.
"These healthcare leaders see a unique opportunity to help define what healthcare delivery is going to look like in the future," added Mountford. "The choices they make will help fundamentally shift the way hospitals operate, enabling higher quality, more affordable care."
Discussions with the CEO attendees revealed six issues of critical importance for 2011 and into the future:
1) Cost Reduction and Utilization Management: As things stand today, most hospitals would not be able to survive on Medicare rates alone. An extraordinary confluence of industry trends - healthcare reform being just one of them - is creating an environment in which healthcare delivery and payment in the United States must be fundamentally changed. To survive in the short term, hospitals must contain and reduce costs wherever possible. In the longer term, cost containment alone will not create the savings needed to operate at declining reimbursement rates.
"It's not the cost of supplies, it's over usage. It's hard to get at that issue, but that's the source of the problem. It's usage you have to address to get costs down," said Peter Fine, president and CEO of Banner Health in Phoenix, Ariz.
2) Business Model Shifts - Risk Sharing & Population Management: Taking on risk and managing patient populations under different payment methodologies, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), will be both a market-based and reform-based necessity - and arguably the only way healthcare organizations can survive in the long term.
"A lot of CEOs in the 80s and 90s retired early chasing the capitation train, and trying to put together health information exchanges. They tried to jump to a curve the industry wasn't ready for yet. It wasn't their core business. We are in a better place today, though we still have some distance to cover before we can jump," said Al Stubblefield, president and CEO of Baptist Health Care Corporation in Pensacola, Fla.
3) Consolidation: By spreading fixed costs over a larger revenue base, consolidation represents a possible road to driving down healthcare costs. However, because of the inherent execution challenges and the intensity of capital needed to do it well, consolidation might not be the answer for every organization.
"Size matters. Getting cost per unit down further is going to be nearly impossible without some structural changes. Consolidation - or virtual integration - might be the answer for many organizations," said Steve Carlson, president and CEO of Community Medical Center in Missoula, Mont.
4) Changing Role of IT and the Value of Data: Despite strides made in the past 10 years, healthcare continues to lag behind in IT implementation when compared to other industries.
"Sustainable, successful transformation is more likely to occur than it was in the 90s because of the enabling power of our IT investment and unprecedented clinical connectedness. IT is the enabler that will make many of these visions come true," said Kevin Schoeplein, incoming CEO for OSF Healthcare in Peoria, Ill.
5) Physician Integration and Clinical Process Improvement: The topic of physician integration and the need for clinical process improvement threaded through nearly every discussion at the Forum. The two issues go hand in hand, and an effective strategy for improving both is crucial.
"Physicians may be slow to change practices if it doesn't make sense financially for them to do so. The reimbursement system must shift if we want to affect a different outcome and true physician alignment," said Scott Bosch, president and CEO of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Wash.
6) Consumerism and the Patient Experience: Advances in technology - including smart phones, social media and the availability of medical information on the Internet - have exponentially increased patients' expectations and demands. Technological advances in the consumer marketplace have outpaced most hospitals' IT advances, and are poised to continue widening the gap between the kind and quality of care patients want and the care they receive.
"We have traditionally defined value as a ratio of cost divided by the perception of quality (usually patient satisfaction). In the near future, patients will become more empowered with expectations of verifiable quality and cost," said Dean Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago, Ill.
Leading the Healthcare Enterprise Through Unprecedented Change: Insights from the Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare CEO Forum is available at http://www.huronconsultinggroup.com/researchdetails.aspx?articleId=2608.
About Wellspring+Stockamp, Huron Healthcare
Wellspring+Stockamp, 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. Wellspring+Stockamp resides in Huron Consulting Group's Health and Education Consulting segment. This segment accounted for nearly 60% of Huron's revenues for the full year 2009. Modern Healthcare ranked Huron Healthcare third on its 2010 list of the top 15 largest healthcare management consulting firms.
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 www.huronconsultinggroup.com
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SOURCE: Huron Consulting Group
Huron Consulting Group
Jennifer Frost Hennagir