With uncertainties around the Affordable Care Act and a shortage of physicians even before the influx of Baby Boomers, healthcare organizations have to face reality and address these issues, according to Larry Kaiser, President and Chief Executive Officer, Temple University Health System. “Hospitals that provide high quality care in a patient-centered environment will succeed, as patient satisfaction scores will be used in Medicare reimbursement,” he says.
Ahead of the marcus evans National Healthcare CXO Summit Fall 2012, in Dallas, Texas, October 21-23, Kaiser, a speaker at the event, delivers his thoughts on physician-hospital alignment, addressing the issue of physician shortage and providing patient care.
Why is physician alignment and integration becoming more important?
The Affordable Care Act has introduced a number of uncertainties, with the fee for service structure unlikely to continue. Looking at some of the payment models proposed, I see a greater need for physician-hospital alignment, especially where independent physicians are predominant. Hospital CEOs have to be willing to deal with the reality that the current structure is likely to change, but no one knows when it will happen.
How can hospitals prepare for a new payment model?
We have to determine the correct incentives, whether financial or otherwise. Delivering high quality care in an efficient fashion at a lower cost will be a challenge, unless we create incentives for physicians to share in the savings in some way. Money is often the best incentive.
There has to be a benefit for all parties. Delivering quality care is key, so physicians may have to surrender some of their autonomy, perhaps follow guidelines or protocols on how to treat patients. However, their loss of autonomy has to be made up in other ways, so that they feel that they are a part of the process.
What additional demands will the US aging population place on hospitals? How can they prepare for a physician shortage?
One way to address that is to work in teams, with non-physicians such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants delivering a significant portion of care. Working in teams is going to be the most optimal way for delivering care as the system becomes more stressed with more people entering it. Healthcare organizations have to train physician extenders and use them efficiently.
What is missing in the healthcare industry today?
Transparency in the relationship between cost and charges. Having third party payers footing the bill does not give any incentives to patients to think long and hard about some of their decisions. Patients must pick up a greater share of the responsibility.
Any final advice for increasing revenue or profitability?
Deliver high quality care efficiently. Patients now want a good customer service as well. Hospitals that provide high quality care in a patient-centered environment will succeed, as patient satisfaction scores will be used in Medicare reimbursement. Ultimately, quality prevails.
About the National Healthcare CXO Summit Fall 2012
This unique forum will take place at The Westin Stonebriar, Dallas, Texas, October 21-23, 2012. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on physician alignment strategies, perfecting the ACO model, improving patient satisfaction and experience, cost-containment case studies, the future of the US healthcare system and much more.
Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
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