Hos­pi­tal lead­ers strate­gize on com­pet­ing in a re­tail mar­ket

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Beth Kutscher

Even though hos­pi­tals are get­ting some bal­ance-sheet re­lief from an im­prov­ing econ­omy and in­sur­ance cov­er­age ex­pan­sion, they’re strug­gling to adapt to high-de­ductible health plans, cap­i­tated con­tracts and val­ue­based pay­ment mod­els.

This new re­al­ity will be the fo­cus of the Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s 23rd an­nual Lead­er­ship Sum­mit, run­ning July 23-25 in San Fran­cisco.

Con­sumerism and price trans­parency were ma­jor top­ics last month at the Healthcare Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion’s An­nual Na­tional In­sti­tute.

“Cost, con­ve­nience and ac­cess are in­te­gral to the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Lisa Gold­stein, an an­a­lyst at Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice, who spoke at the HFMA con­fer­ence. Non­tradi- tional providers such as CVS Health Corp. and Wal­green Co. now are com­pet­ing di­rectly with health sys­tems for pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly healthy young peo­ple who want fast ac­cess to providers.

Gold­stein cited a sys­tem in the Mid­west that’s specif­i­cally tar­get­ing mil­len­ni­als as part of its pop­u­la­tion-health man­age­ment strat­egy. On the other end of the spec­trum, health sys­tems are gain­ing more pa­tient vol­ume from an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion. The risk is that Medi­care may squeeze pay­ment rates to deal with those grow­ing num­bers of ben­e­fi­cia­ries, she said.

The AHA con­fer­ence ses­sions will ad­dress chal­lenges such as com­pet­ing in a re­tail en­vi­ron­ment, boost­ing la­bor pro­duc­tiv­ity and im­ple­ment­ing val­ue­based pro­grams such as ac­count­able care. Dr. Atul Gawande, au­thor of Be­ing Mor­tal, and Michael Lewis, au­thor of Money­ball, are sched­uled as key­note speak­ers.

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