Expert Panel Discussion: Health Care Reform:
How Community Hospitals Thrive in an Environment of Rapid Change
Constraints in terms of workforce and capital are challenges for not only critical access hospitals but all hospitals and health systems. With new goals to reach, such as meaningful use, ICD-10 and HIPAA 5010, the challenge comes in hiring talented, experienced staff to meet the goals. This will place greater financial constraints on organizations to cover the additional salaries, benefits and education. Organizations face a host of new regulatory requirements in the next two-three years. And even with the opportunities for federal funding, hospitals will have to continue to make large investments in technology over staff raises, benefits, and education. This could create an uneven balance that could ultimately impact patient care.
Accountable Care Organizations and patient-centered medical home models are just two examples of how the health care industry can evolve to a system where providers are given incentives to provide high quality care across the continuum of care. McKesson and some of its customers are already engaged in demonstration projects across the country. We agree these models will take time to develop. In the meantime, health care organizations should take steps to position for payment reform by looking at their processes for discharge management and transitions of care. Hospitals and health systems should ensure they are able to measure, analyze and make changes to improve performance across the enterprise, and they also should ensure they can support a bundled payment model.