As we begin the new year, the Partners at Royer-Maddox-Herron Advisors
will begin a new blog series, posting a new one every two weeks. And as
we did last year, we will pick current, cutting-edge, and even some provocative
topics which we believe will have a significant impact on health care’s
2014 journey. Perhaps a question, one should ask is: “Are the RMH
Advisor Blogs worth reading?” In order to answer that question,
hopefully in the affirmative, we think one of the best ways to accomplish
this is to review our 2013 Blogs to see if the topics were relevant and
if the predictions contained in them became reality. So here goes.
1. These will be the most rapid and significant times of change in healthcare.
There is marked agreement that mammoth changes have occurred both clinically
and administratively in the healthcare industry, and will surely continue
into the next decade.
2. Innovation will be increasingly visible, particularly in successful
This year we saw some previously designated “cancers” being
moved from the cancer list, we saw acceptable blood pressure readings
being raised for people over 50 years of age, and experienced a wide array
of agreement that over treatment of certain diseases is a problem and
must be curtailed. New treatment protocols were implemented that move
significant care, once only delivered in in-patient settings, to ambulatory centers.
3. Physician Integration will be a Critical Success Factor.
In repeated surveys of health system CEOS, they indicated their number
one strategy is to strengthen their physician relationships, often utilizing
the steps included in our series entitled , “Physicians Must Be
on the Offensive”.
4. In-Patient Volumes will Continue to Decline.
This phenomenon continued throughout the year, with many hospitals seeing
declines as high as 5% to 7%.
5. New Players will enter the Market.
In the popular Blog by our partner Jay Herron, “Who is Making the
Rebar”, he lists the numerous new entrants who are filling the voids
left by slow changing traditional providers, hence stealing market share
and reshaping the provider landscape.
6. The Hospital of the Future will be different.
Most leadership teams realize that the configuration and use of inpatient
beds will be changing. 2013 saw a closure of beds and floors, with strategic/facility
planning being increased to best determine if and how the space could
be used for a sustainable future.
7. Transformation Leadership is a Must!
It is abundantly clear that most healthcare leaders today realize that
their competencies of the past may not be sufficient to make them effective
in the future. A recently published article was entitled , “Wanted:
Hospital CEOs Without Healthcare Experience”. In addition, in 2013
we continued to experience CEO turnover between 13% and 15%.
8. The Importance of Successful Governance Continues.
Clearly, as the roles of leadership teams evolved in 2013, it became apparent
that the roles of Boards also needed to transform themselves, making sure
they were overseeing their delivery system’s evolution into high
quality, low cost, accessible, and affordable programs. Unfortunately,
our travels in 2013 found that many Boards are struggling to function
appropriately in these rapidly changing times, and will require considerable
coaching and mentoring in the coming year.
9. The Importance of Primary Care Growth Continues.
In one of our final Blogs, we noted the continuing shortage of primary
care providers, essential for population health management, and shared
how this void is being filled by Emergency Departments throughout the
country. In 2013, ED volumes have continued to balloon, often rising by
10% per year, thereby contributing to the rising costs which we saw again in 2013.
These were some of our thoughts and predictions embedded in our blogs which
hopefully you read and reflected on last year. It appears that, for the
most part, what we thought would happen, did! Therein lies the foundation
for our continued credibility. Hopefully, you will continue to follow
our 2014 blogs for there is a chance that “what you read, will be”!
The three partners at Royer-Maddox-Herron Advisors wish you a Happy New
Year, and pray that 2014 will be filled with much peace, happiness, and
success. And in addition, that 2014 will be one of the best years ever
for those we serve in the healthcare industry.