"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bending the Cost Curve at WMHS

Just what does it mean to say that you are bending the cost curve?  The cost of health care continues to increase for many reasons, but it needs to be reduced.  We have successfully reduced costs at WMHS by capturing the low hanging fruit, the easy stuff.  We have also implemented a Lean / Six Sigma program that has brought process improvement to the organization (and that work continues).  We are now pushing to improve outcomes, enhance quality and provide better access to patients, especially primary care.   Through our new payment system, Total Patient Revenue, we have virtually changed how we do business overnight.  We are reducing admissions,   working to deliver care in the most appropriate setting, reducing variation in how care and services are delivered, working to align incentives with our physicians around cost, quality and outcomes and focusing on wellness among our employees, their families and our community.  There is so much work to be done in addressing the cost curve, but the good news is that we are clearly on the right track and in many circles ahead of the game.

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