"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, October 4, 2012

Transformation of US Healthcare

Last week, I received a publication from our external auditors, KPMG.  The publication was entitled, "The Transformation of US Healthcare."  From time to time, it is especially helpful to check how we are doing against others in the industry.  The report identifies six key industry change characteristics that all hospitals should be focusing on and they are as follows: 1) Shifting reimbursement from fee for service to value based; 2) Increasing provider consolidation; 3) Changing sites of service; 4) Enhancing consumer engagement; 5) Transitioning to wellness and prevention; 6) Disrupting new market entrants.

 At WMHS, we have embraced all of these characteristics.  We are now paid under a value-based model as part of the Total Patient Reimbursement (TPR) model and will eventually evolve to a population health model.  We also continue to work with our physicians and advanced practice providers on clinical integration and provider accountability.  We have also embraced a new care continuum whereby we are treating patients in the most appropriate setting; not simply admitting everyone and caring for them in the most expensive setting whether they needed it or not.  Our patients, like patients across the country, have become much more engaged in their care and are fast becoming tech savvy in their interactions with us and their providers.  At WMHS, we have embraced community health and wellness across the system and can see improvements in the health and social needs from last year to this year.  Lastly, we continue to see new entrants into the health care market whether they are surgery centers, urgent care centers, entrepreneurial focused physicians, private companies and the list goes on.  Everyone is trying to find their niche, as well as maximize their income, in an ever changing environment.  The bottom line is that we are very good shape going forward in preparing our health system for tomorrow.

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