Driving Results Blog

By Jake Crampton

The Driving Results Blog is a space for MedSpeed’s CEO, Jake Crampton, to share insights about a variety of healthcare topics. Occasionally, other members of the MedSpeed leadership team will use this space to discuss matters of particular importance to them.

 


 

 

 

What Payment Model Should Replace Fee for Service?

We all know that the United States is in the process of radically changing how it pays for healthcare. And that’s because nearly all experts agree that the prevailing current payment method—fee for service—fuels waste, and does nothing to promote high-quality care.

In an effort to drive quality and reduce waste, there have been ongoing efforts by both the federal government and private insurers to reform payments, which have produced some success along the way.

What is the best approach to replace fee for service? The Harvard Business Review recently asked that question and presented the two leading economic models that are contending to replace fee for service.

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Supply Chain: Essential to Improve Patient Outcomes

Clinical improvements—the key to making patient interactions widely successful—“requires getting the right products, services and capabilities into the hands of clinicians and the supply chain is essential in driving scalable, sustainable improvements in the health care system,” said a recent article in H&HN.

Recognizing the supply chain’s importance in overall success as an organization can lead to widespread benefits within healthcare. When organizations are looking for ways to make clinical improvements, it makes sense to involve supply chain early in the process because it “can expedite the adoption of meaningful medical advancements for better patient care.”

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Find Good Partners and Innovate if You Want to Stay on Top

Resting on your laurels isn’t the way to stay on top of your game, according to three leading healthcare CEOs who spoke at a recent Not-for-Profit Health Care Investor Conference. They’ve lead their organizations to success by keeping their eyes peeled for new and better ways to do things. This topic really appeals to me.

These CEOs seek ideas from both traditional competitors and from other industries. Rodney Hochman, M.D, CEO of Providence Health & Services advises healthcare leaders to “shamelessly steal” good ideas from other industries and Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health urges hospitals to share their own innovations with other businesses that might benefit.

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Never Under-Estimate the Value of Proactivity

I was very gratified to participate in the Becker’s Hospital Review 7th Annual Meeting. I had the opportunity to introduce a keynote panel, whose topic was “Key Strategies and Trends,” and I also participated in a panel that explored “The Biggest Issues and Opportunities for Healthcare.”

I came away from the conference invigorated by the new ideas we all shared. When I got back to the office after the meeting, there was a letter from Scott Becker that reiterated what I would consider the one main point to highlight: That a real differentiator between surviving and success is proactivity.

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No Small Thing – The Growth of the HealthCare System

Mergers and acquisitions are all over the healthcare news, and have been for a while now. As described in a recent article in Modern Healthcare, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are coming together to form “sometimes behemoth” systems with the ultimate goal to achieve scale to create operational efficiencies.

The article gives examples of failures and successes and highlights many of the challenges that come with rapid growth. Overall, Modern Healthcare concluded that “hospital system executives continue to pursue size and scale through mergers despite the evidence from some recent deals that problems undiscovered during due diligence—or from culture clashes—may make the marriage hard to consummate.”

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Can Healthcare Continue Its Outperformance Streak?

As a sector, healthcare has had a good run. According to S&P, “The health care sector has outperformed the broader market over each of the last five years.” That’s the good news.

Yet, despite a stable outlook, and even optimism that healthcare can continue to outperform the broader market in 2016, S&P notes some challenges.

The nonprofit sector’s stability is predicated on a boost from Medicaid expansion and the insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. But, there are negative pressures at nonprofits, including difficulty with poor IT installation, weaker patient volumes and the cost of absorbing physician practices. “The strongest hospitals and health systems are likely to just hold existing margin and reserve levels, while weaker providers will likely continue to see operating margin and cash flow erosion and eventually balance sheet pressure.”

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Health Transformation Alliance Looking to Disrupt Healthcare for Its Employees

When 20 of the United States’ largest companies (including American Express, Coca-Cola and Verizon) announced the formation of the Health Transformation Alliance that covers approximately four million people, they got everyone’s attention. In creating the Alliance, the companies have banded together to use their collective data and market power in a bid to hold down the cost of health-care benefits.

Alliance members intend to share information about employee health spending and outcomes, with a goal to use those findings to change how they contract for care. According to the Wall Street Journal, some members say they might even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or attempt to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers.

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Air Traffic Control and Healthcare?

I recently read a MedCityNews post that used an air traffic control metaphor to describe what the future of healthcare could look like. The article compares the future of hospital operations with how air traffic control’s efficient and streamlined scheduling and operations transformed air travel.

The idea of pulling together activities that if treated individually and uncoordinated could be dangerous and/or cause service disruption resonates. We look at healthcare logistics in a similar manner. How can we take activities that used to be handled individually and develop new processes and infrastructure to turn those individual components into something better?

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University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge Turns 20

A few weeks ago, Crain’s Chicago Business published an article that focused on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ New Venture Challenge (NVC). The NVC was started 20 years ago. It is what started MedSpeed on the path it is on today and I was fortunate to be able to be a part of it.

I share this article because I appreciate the opportunity this program provided to me, and MedSpeed. I thank the NVC and Crain’s Chicago Business for highlighting the great things that this program is doing to encourage entrepreneurialism across the country.

Systemness: Integrating to deliver seamless, cost-effective, high quality care

Systemness is a term that is being used more and more frequently in healthcare. The word itself is a bit clumsy, but its meaning very much affects our industry.

A recent post from the Advisory Board Company describes it this way, “at its essence, systemness is about integrating all aspects of a health system’s governance, operations, and workflows—across all technologies, clinicians, and locations—to deliver seamless, cost-effective, high-quality care.”

The Advisory Board recently conducted a survey of over 150 health system executives, and the conclusion was that those leaders said, “in no uncertain terms that their organizational success depends on greater integration, and greater integration depends on their ability to do concrete things that reduce variation, improve coordination, and improve the flow of information.”

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