"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.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Matter of Disagreement

Yesterday, I attended two educational sessions at the Governance Institute's annual meeting for CEOs and Board Members.  For the most part, the sessions were extremely informative.  However, there was a major point of disagreement based on the information shared in one of the sessions.  

One of the presenters said that the health care reform initiatives will not take hold in the US until 2025.  He feels that way based of the following: the overall learning curve is too steep for all stakeholders; there is a lot depending on the successful implementation of clinical information systems; the newly implemented insurance exchanges will take much longer to come on line due to their many current challenges; the amount of primary care restructuring that is necessary; the influx of millions of new patients; the lack of funding for the transition and less willingness on the part of patients to pay out of pocket for their care.  

Really?  I will say that it takes a lot to change how hospitals do business in shifting from volume to value since we lived it.  The presenter's points are well taken, but twelve years to make the change?  The majority within WMHS has gotten it and I recognize such change did take several years.  It does take a great deal to change, especially in the community outside of the hospital, as we move away from the traditional health care model.  But, again, twelve years is a quite a long time especially, since we don't have that kind of time with the cost of health care at $2.7 trillion dollars on an annual basis and increasing each year.

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