Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
CEO Minute: Four Issues Facing Health Care’s Future

CEO Minute: Four Issues Facing Health Care’s Future

CEO Minute: Four Issues Facing Health Care’s Future- image0It is always good to learn what others are thinking. Huron Consulting Group recently released its report on what health care leaders from around the nation have on their minds. I found it interesting and think you might as well. The four major issues that have percolated to the top are:
  1. Moving from volume to value. This means that the health care industry may transition over time to value-based reimbursement rather than volume-based reimbursement. Someday we may get paid for keeping people healthy and meeting quality targets rather than relying almost exclusively on taking care of ill patients for payments.  People will always get sick, it is understood, and we will be honored to serve them, but we may see changes in this regard.  Texas Tech Physicians of Lubbock has already been asked to be a part of an ACO type arrangement with a major insurance company.
  2. Changing the care delivery model. According to the report, the industry needs to reimagine the who, what, when, where and how of delivering care. At Texas Tech Physicians of Lubbock, we are establishing a Department of Clinical Transformation—the new name for EHR Department, but includes much more—it indicates recognition that we do need to change and reimagine the way we deliver care. You can be a part of this, as everyone’s input is needed.
  3. Aligning physicians. It’s well understood that physicians play a vital role in health care delivery. We will have to have new alignments with hospitals and other providers.  Mid-level providers will likely have an expanded role. This is where Texas Tech Physicians of Lubbock may have an advantage—we represent about 190 doctors and, while we have our share of challenges in getting agreement on issues (which is to be expected from highly intelligent people), we have a history of following a plan once it has been vetted, agreed upon and accepted. The adoption of our EHR is a good example—lots of concern at first (and good frank discussion); but, eventually the majority put their shoulder to the wheel, and we have met every meaningful use target we have encountered without looking back.
  4. Cost containment. While we do not like to hear this, and it is especially tricky given School of Medicine’s tripartite mission, we have to be cognizant of expenses as we face the prospect of fewer reimbursement dollars (either because of decreased in volume or lower rates). Some expenses can possibly be trimmed while other categories may need more funding.  This is timely since budget preparation for FY13 has begun.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.  Comment below, email, call or drop by.