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 healthcare providers.
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.