CHICAGO--(Huron Healthcare CEO Forum. Hospital leaders at the Forum discussed the challenges of delivering high-quality care within a lower cost structure.)--Huron Consulting Group, a leading provider of business consulting services, today released additional insights from its third annual
“We have been aggressively building a very large medical group, now numbering around 2,500 doctors. We are also, of course, building closer relationships with the thousands of physicians who will still be key members of our network.”
“Every hospital, health system, and large group physician executive is thinking about their basic cost structure,” said Andrew Ziskind, managing director and Clinical solutions leader, Huron Healthcare. “They’re paying attention to the performance improvement efforts around operational efficiency and clinical efficiency, leveraging the benefits of consolidation, and functioning as a system. CEOs are also moving on asset rationalization—making sure they’ve got the right number of resources in the right place at the right time.”
“The new healthcare reality demands a more disciplined, transparent, rigorous approach to performance improvement in all areas of operations,” said James G. Gallas, managing director and Performance solutions leader, Huron Healthcare. “Organizations are taking a fresh look at improvement opportunities—and sustaining changes through improved accountability and metrics.”
Discussions at the Forum explored five key strategies to lower costs and enhance quality:
1) New Business Relationships with Physicians
CEOs agreed that physicians are crucial to the success of any value-based endeavor.
“To really prepare for value-based payment models, I believe physician relationships have to be the highest priority,” said Michael J. Dowling, President & CEO, North Shore-LIJ Health System. “We have been aggressively building a very large medical group, now numbering around 2,500 doctors. We are also, of course, building closer relationships with the thousands of physicians who will still be key members of our network.”
2) New Business Models: ACOs, Population Health Management, and Other Shared-Savings and Risk-Sharing Arrangements
From ACOs to population health management models, CEOs are exploring new business models. While many executives are skeptical about the economic viability of shared-savings and risk-sharing models, there was agreement that ACO-like competencies are necessary to thrive in today’s healthcare environment.
“Through our population management model, we are focused on redesigning how care is delivered to our patients,” said Kevin Schoeplein, CEO, OSF Healthcare System. “About 20 percent of our patient population is in at-risk payments and we see this percentage increasing. So we are quickly changing the way we approach accountability for our population.”
Nearly all the CEOs were working on building population health management capabilities using their own employees. For many, that initiative is engaging employees on a deeper level and producing promising outcomes.
3) Leveraging Size and Scale
CEOs are exploring ways to work more effectively by leveraging size and scale—including acquisitions, strategic partnerships, collaboration and asset rationalization.
4) Next Generation Performance Improvement
CEOs discussed the need for a more focused, granular, and disciplined approach to performance improvement throughout their organizations. Many are pursuing new levels of performance in core areas such as revenue cycle, supply chain, labor, and clinical operations.
“When you’re trying to tackle the hardest costs to get out, you have to have nimble teams, you have to hardwire, and you have to get a laser focus on six or seven things to really concentrate on per quarter,” said Reynold Jennings, President & CEO, WellStar Health System.
5) Information Technology and Access to Advanced Analytics
All CEOs at the Forum are making investments in technology and working to improve data collection and connectivity. While these initiatives can be expensive and difficult, CEOs are turning to advanced analytics to provide efficient, effective clinical care, make accurate risk assumptions, and predict resource needs.
Attendees at the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum represented a broad range of organizations, from larger multi-hospital systems to academic medical centers to smaller community hospitals, and across urban and rural communities. Huron Healthcare’s CEO Forum report also shares additional valuable insights on transformative leadership and innovation from the attendees. Key themes highlighted in the report include:
- Priorities: Leading Through Disruptive Innovation to Make Organizational Change Real
- People: Achieving True Alignment with Key Stakeholders
- Patients: New Approaches to Care Delivery and Patient Relationships
- Purpose: Leading and Engaging Stakeholders
Inventing the Future of Healthcare: Top CEOs on the Real Work of Transforming the Healthcare Industry, Insights from the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum is available for download at www.HealthcareCEOForum.com.
To speak with one of Huron Healthcare’s experts about issues affecting hospital leaders, please contact:
Jennifer Frost Hennagir
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 2012 list of the largest healthcare management consulting firms. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com/healthcare 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 www.huronconsultinggroup.com.