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To say the roll out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) has been difficult is a gross understatement. It is a classic study in mismanagement, poor planning, poor judgment and administrative hubris.
Unfortunately, something akin to the PPACA was necessary and yet its unanticipated consequences have created unexpected challenges for healthcare leaders.
1. Insurance reform
In more than 29 states, one or two insurance entities make up more than 70 percent of the states' market share. For instance, New Hampshire's health insurance exchange consists of a single entity, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which defeats the purpose of an insurance marketplace that encourages competition and lower prices.
Thus, healthcare organizations are merging through various means (e.g., sale, affiliation or collaborative agreements, etc.) to gain economies of scale sufficient to both negotiate with insurance carriers and to partner with them. In 2012, there were more than 100 mergers despite the concerns of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
by Jenn Riggle
Thanksgiving is a time known for pilgrims, football and eating way too much turkey. It also marks the beginning of the holiday season with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
While hospitals may not be in the business of selling sweaters and scarves, they can learn some marketing lessons from the grand dame of department stores.
Celebrate your community: The Thanksgiving Day parade is not only a celebration of the holiday season, it also celebrates New York City. Hospitals need to celebrate the communities they serve. It's been said healthcare is local. However, being a local hospital is more than calling yourself a "regional medical center."
It's important to provide services that are relevant to the community you serve. For example, if you're a hospital located in North Carolina, in the heart of tobacco country and the Stroke Belt, you should provide different community outreach programs than a hospital located in Colorado, one of the healthiest states in the country.
In a recent Hospital Impact post, I shared the experience I had during the birth of our son this spring. I stressed an important point that continues to emerge in the many conversations I have with caregivers, patients and family members--the how trumps the what in patient experience success.
With all that I believe to be central to the improvement of patient experience, I also have been increasingly aware of some gaps in the overall process itself and want to poke a bit at our accepted practices.
In conducting interviews for an upcoming paper exploring the measurement of patient experience, I thought of my first opportunity to receive (albeit indirectly) an HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey just weeks following our son's arrival. While I have addressed both the value and limitations of this survey, when helping my wife answer the questions I found many things I could not respond to.
I felt honored to be asked to speak on mission-, vision-, and values-based business planning to approximately 100 physicians and allied healthcare professionals earlier this month. I summarized an article I had written in response to a chief operating officer who dismissed a practicing physician with an idea of how to shorten the time from presentation to diagnosis for patients with a prostate mass.
"Fine, now write me a business plan," the COO told the physician.
The physician did just that. Moreover, the business plan I helped him write became the blueprint for a multidisciplinary cancer center (Cohn KH, Schwartz RW. "Business plan writing for physicians." Am J Surg 2002;184(2):114-120).
With that in mind, I gave the audience of physicians and healthcare professionals four principal reasons to write a business plan:
by Matt Seager
When the recent South Park episode "Taming Strange" kicked off with a joke about the school counselor's expensive new app that was supposed to streamline the process for seeking school-offered health services (but really managed to do anything but), I thought I was in for 22 minutes of jokes about HealthCare.gov's troubled launch.
However, Comedy Central's flagship show went deeper. Much of the show was an impressively poignant commentary on the value and pitfalls of electronic medical records (EMR) and health IT-based consumer engagement strategies.
The mere fact South Park focused an episode on HIT and consumer engagement tells us the following...
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