NEW YORK CITY — Executives at some of the nation's leading health systems are doing what they can to get ahead of — or at least stay even with — the delivery system's evolutionary trajectory. Their strategies are varied, but there seems to be an overaching goal: become a high-value, high-reliabiltiy provider of care, regardless of the setting.

Leaders from 30 of the top-performing health systems are presenting their strategic and financial plans to the investment community at the 15th annual Non-Profit Health Care Investor Conference. During the first day of presentations, some consistent themes emerged, including the move toward population health, pursuing different partnerships with traditional and nontraditional parties and more strategic use of IT to achieve better patient care and operational efficiencies. Oh, and the idea that hospitals need to become more consumer- (yes, consumer, not patient) facing.

"We aren't afraid of the word," said Providence Health & Services CEO Rod Hochman, M.D., adding that the health system recently hired an executive to help build a strategy that will enable it to meet consumers on their terms.

As the delivery model shifts, it presents some significant challenges, not the least of which is declining revenue while new payment models unfold. That's not lost on financial analysts, as Martin Arrick, managing director of public finance at S&P, explains in this video:

(Content by Health Forum, Sponsored by: VHA)