the advisor

Issue 2, 2013  |  Table of Contents

Hospital and Health System Survival Strategy
By KSM's Healthcare Resources Group

Change has dominated the healthcare arena over the last few years and there is no evidence of a slowdown or calming period in the near future. In attempts to avoid panic with newly released requirement deadlines from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMMS), hospitals and health systems all across the country are searching for ideas, strategies and guidance for how to remain relevant, earn a dollar and prosper in the new era of the Affordable Care Act (the ACA). 

Developing a multi-year strategic plan now will enable hospitals and health systems to better position themselves for a new model of care. This new model will include new reimbursement structures for physicians and hospitals, new partnerships/alliances for all players in healthcare and new regulatory guidelines that will change the industry completely. 

There are three areas that must be addressed in a hospital or health system’s multi-year strategic plan to facilitate a successful transition into the new era of healthcare.

1. Current state assessment. Many hospitals, especially in rural areas, do not have a true account of their overall status or position. Performing this “pulse check” can ensure that the proper strategic moves are developed and executed to help a hospital remain or become successful. Service line analyses, outpatient strategies, payor contracting leverage and physician network models are critical areas that need to have a strategic focus.

2. Physician engagement and leadership. The doctors are in the driver’s seat when it comes to successfully adapting to the new healthcare laws. Changing physician behavior has proven to be one of the most difficult tasks over the last 30 years. Deploying physician leadership academies, instituting physician leadership workshops and enabling physicians to be more business savvy will only help facilitate positive change. KSM’s Healthcare Resources Group can help tailor strategies and create platforms for engaging physicians, empowering them to drive and deliver strategic initiatives. A major component of the ACA is changing the habits of patients, preventative medicine and a more active primary care presence – all of which can and should be driven by physicians themselves.

3. Population health management. Managing a population or a group/zone of specified people is the new model. Health systems are acquiring the multiple pieces, from outpatient surgery centers to long-term care facilities to cover the full spectrum or “continuum of care.” In an Accountable Care Organization, one of the many components of the ACA, hospitals, health systems, physician groups and even payors are teaming up to provide all the services needed in this continuum of care. This new model of care also brings with it a new reimbursement structure, which will change the way physicians and hospitals together are compensated.

Careful planning and the development of a hospital/health system-specific strategic plan are the keys to survival in today’s healthcare environment. Healthcare administrators need to have a grasp on the trends, a vision for navigating through the times and a detailed plan for success.

About Us
Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Healthcare Resources Group serves healthcare providers, including physicians, hospitals and health systems, surgery centers, and long-term care facilities. Our team of healthcare professionals has the scope and depth to meet client needs. Learn more.