"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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Health Care Reform, What it is and What it isn't

Yesterday, the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) ended.  We won't know until June of the outcome of those arguments and their decision.  However, it is important to sort out what is reform.  Actually, it is the legislation now being tested before the Court, but it is also reform in how the delivery of care is provided.  Hospitals such as Western Maryland Health System are involved with changing how we do business.  You will continue to hear value over volume, most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting, reduced readmissions, less utilization of services, more clinic visits, more care provided in the home, etc.  We have designed our three-year strategic plan around health care reform, but not the reform contained within the legislation.  We are converting our health care delivery model to one of reduced cost, better quality and less volume from a model focused almost exclusively on the provision of acute care services and higher utilization of procedures and testing.  Obamacare may not survive in its entirety, but there is no going back to the traditional approach to the delivery of care.

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