Are You Waiting for the ACA to Go Away?

If you are hoping that you can survive the changes in the healthcare industry by maintaining your current business model and waiting for the rules to change, you may regret your delay. Status quo simply is NOT an option. You need to start taking action now in order to remain viable in the future.

My advice is to abandon survival mode and begin to design and implement proactive strategies to help your stakeholders thrive in the new environment. 

Waiting for clear political messages before you act may damage your ability to provide excellent care, to sustain financial viability and to enhance your competitive position. And even if the ACA is repealed, we still must address the underlying problems in healthcare that the law was designed to correct. 

As government and market forces propel the healthcare industry in a new direction, I predict hospitals and healthcare systems that respond early and adapt well to the shift from volume-based to value-based models will be the ultimate winners.

A 2013 survey conducted by the Governance Institute showed that 52% of respondents from nonprofit hospitals and health systems had already added value-based payment goals to their strategic plans. I believe that a similar or greater number of for-profit organizations have now also moved in this direction, and those who have not could be risking the long-term health of their organizations.

If you need to assess your progress or begin planning to meet the challenges of the new healthcare models, here are several considerations for your board and executive leaders:

  • Have you started senior-level discussions of your existing mission statement and value proposition in light of a radically changing environment?
  • Have you evaluated your organization’s position in the marketplace? Are you able to thrive alone or should you seek partners to further your mission?
  • Are you working with providers to create new models of care, placing incentives in the proper place?
  • Do you have the data collection, reporting and analysis infrastructure that will provide the necessary information to make informed decisions?
  • Are you able to meet compliance and reporting requirements?
  • Are you building partnerships with your physicians and healthcare providers?
  • Are you delivering outcomes that matter most to patients?
  • Are you able to positively impact the health of your community?

As we all work toward the “Triple Aim” – better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower costs for healthcare overall – I advise you to begin now.

 

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