You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

According to the 2017 HealthLeaders Media Cost and Revenue Strategies Survey, healthcare executives who embrace determining the true cost of providing care at their organizations find themselves in a better position to offer transparency, which they see as a competitive differentiator.

One of the largest obstacles to revenue growth is our industry’s inability to determine the true cost of care delivery. The HealthLeaders’ survey bears this out. Respondents say that the biggest barrier to achieving sustainable cost reductions is the lack of data on the true cost of care (58%).

This lack of data/insight is something we’ve seen in our own work with organizations on the intra-company logistics front. We get it. The healthcare finance system is not designed to calculate transportation costs. The result: most organizations don’t know the true cost of transporting items throughout their system. Lacking that measurement means they have no way of knowing how to manage those costs or improve their operations.

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Productivity + Risk Management = Success

“Many of the major shifts (in healthcare) over the past decade can be characterized as focusing on bulking up pieces of the healthcare puzzle and on squeezing out inefficiency, but in the coming decade we can expect the shifts to be more systemic—rearranging pieces, adding new players, and changing the very definitions of efficiency and quality,” writes Ron Adner, Ph.D., Professor of Strategy at Dartmouth College.

Efficiency, productivity and quality define success not just in healthcare, but across industries.

In fact, a recent working paper from the Congressional Budget Office found that the magnitude of the financial impact U.S. hospitals will face in the future depends on how much they can improve their productivity over time. The CBO paper concluded that if hospitals are unable to increase their productivity or otherwise reduce cost growth, the share of hospitals with negative profit margins will rise to 60% and their average profit margin will fall to -0.2%.

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What’s Keeping Healthcare CEOs up at Night?

We know that today’s CEOs face unprecedented challenges. New regulations and declining payments are two of the biggest hurdles, but what else keeps healthcare leaders up at night? I recently read a survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions that I found very interesting.

The survey asked that very question of CEOs at large hospitals and health systems (greater than $1 billion in revenue). Unsurprisingly, the CEOs anticipate that value-based care (VBC) will reshape the future of healthcare. As hospitals are paid differently, profitability will be harder to achieve.

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Sustainability for Successful Healthcare Management

Traditionally, when we hear the word “sustainability,” it conjures up ideas of the health of the environment and the idea of “going green.” And that is clearly a very large part of the sustainability movement, but the concept of sustainability extends further.

MedSpeed is a member of Practice Greenhealth, a not-for profit organization whose mission is to be “the source for environmental solutions for the healthcare sector that lends support to create better, safer, greener workplaces and communities.” Earlier this year, Laura Wenger, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth wrote, “Sustainability isn’t just about environmental stewardship. As the [health] sector faces increased financial pressures, more hospitals and health care facilities should prioritize sustainability as a way to strategically manage rising costs.”

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