Healthcare Issues & Trends

Advice & Insights for healthcare's Leaders & HR Professionals


The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Posted on June 28, 2012 by Gallagher Integrated

By Bob Erra, President, Integrated Healthcare Strategies

This morning, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The landmark decision ends a long period of legal uncertainty and will clear the way for implementation of the law.

The ruling affirmed the individual mandate requiring most Americans to maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage, as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power. The Court concluded that the individual mandate could not be justified as an exercise of Congress’ power to regulate commerce. The Court held that the expansion of the Medicaid program is affirmed as an exercise of Congress’s spending power, but that Congress did not have the power to cut off Medicaid funding for states that refused to comply with the law’s eligibility rules.

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act and full implementation taking effect by January, 2014, it is important to consider the initiatives that are critical to your healthcare organization’s long-term success.

We will continue to see robust activity in hospitals employing and acquiring physicians in order to create integrated systems to address their ability to manage the population’s health.  In addition, the transformation will require significant redesigns of compensation plans that recognize payment for value versus productivity.

As more and more physicians become employees or have a stronger relationship with health systems, it is imperative they become engaged with an organization’s strategy, vision and mission.  To date private medical staff have typically used the hospital more as a place to take care of their patients, and the traditional physician satisfaction surveys sufficed.  Today, it is essential that hospitals understand the drivers necessary to get physicians fully engaged in the hospital in order to be able to deliver on the value equation and transform the delivery system.  That will require engaged physicians, not just satisfied physicians.

In addition, the demand for talent in physician leadership, nursing leadership, and physician practice management roles will increase.   As you think about your future leadership needs, it is important to recognize that the search for these individuals will be lengthy, competitive, and will require creative strategies to acquire the best talent.

As you think of how to incent leadership in this new environment, utilizing both short-term and long-term incentives, your Compensation Committee needs to take into account your strategy for transforming the health delivery system to a value based system of care for managing overall health.

In essence, the bottom line is that the new law has created an opportunity for healthcare, but also a big challenge to transform how we do business.

Download court opinion

William F. Jessee Talks Physician-Hospital Alignment

Posted on June 21, 2012 by Gallagher Integrated

As originally appeared on HealthLeaders Media, as written by Joe Cantlupe. After being president and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association for 12 years, William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE stepped down  last October, which gives him the chance to spend more time examining the  landscape of physician and hospital integration. From his vantage point it's a rocky landscape. Few hospitals and physicians are yet up to the challenge of  properly aligning themselves, even though the pace of hospitals acquiring  physician practices is accelerating across the nation, Jessee tells HealthLeaders Media. Since leaving MGMA, Jessee has been senior vice president  and senior advisor for Integrated Health Strategies, of Minneapolis, a consulting  firm for physicians and hospitals with alignment and performance issues. Discussions with hospital clients are showing that too many "don't  have organizational goals or strategies for their physician practices.  Hospitals simply bring in (physician) practices because they are out there,"  Jessee says. After a contract is signed, he adds, "now they are trying to  figure out: what do I do next?" It's not only hospitals stumbling in alignment strategies,  Jessee says. Many physicians expect large payments, but they should lower their  expectations of hospital employment and not be "greedy" when it comes  to anticipated incomes, he adds. "I think what the doc must to do is to step back from  the prospect of short-term economic gain and ask themselves, 'how can I do a  deal with the hospital that is a win, win for both of us?'' Jessee says. "If  they are both happy with the deal, they are more likely to have a lasting  relationship than if a (doc) felt after a deal was made, 'Boy, did I really sucker the hospital administration.'" Jessee discussed some of his best-of-alignment ideas in an  interview.  Read full article

Justifying Executive Pay at Non-Profit Healthcare Organizations

Posted on June 18, 2012 by Gallagher Integrated

Executive compensation across all industries continues to garner media attention.  But the pay practices at healthcare organizations, especially non-profit facilities, tops the list of favorites for public scrutiny.  It's important for non-profit hospitals to be prepared to justify their executive compensation plans.  Many find value in working with a third-party industry expert to help them review and develop their compensation plans. The TCPalm recently published an editorial, "Some Treasure Coast professionals find it pays to work for a nonprofit," written by Kristen Swilley and Tyler Treadway (see below).

Nonprofits are big business, and some pay big salaries like their for-profit kinfolk in the corporate world.

According to a list compiled by Scripps Howard News Service, 64 nonprofit organizations along the Treasure Coast each bring in more than $1 million a year, and several pay their top employees with six- and in some cases, seven-digit salaries.

The high salaries may not jibe with most peoples' perception of a nonprofit, said Laurie Styron, an analyst with CharityWatch, a Chicago-based nonprofit charity watchdog and information service formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy, but they're often necessary for the nonprofits to perform their services.

"That's not to say there aren't people who get excessive compensation (from nonprofits)," Styron said. "There definitely are. ... "Nonprofits have to compete with the private sector for employees, so there's no absolute dollar figure you can point to and say, 'Oh, that's too much to pay.' You have to consider all the contexts involved. The amount of money a nonprofit pays someone may seem high, but maybe that's what they need to pay to attract someone who can do the job effectively."

Read the full article

How one of Florida's Largest Health Systems Found the Right Person to Deliver a New Brand Strategy

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Gallagher Integrated

From a case study authored by Roger Samuel, Vice President, and John Lenihan, Consultant with MSA Executive Search/Integrated Healthcare Strategies. One of Florida’s largest health systems, BayCare Health System (BayCare), underwent a system-wide integration of marketing, strategic planning, and branding programs. In May 2008, members of BayCare’s senior leadership, medical leadership, and governing board met to approve a new model of healthcare delivery to be offered by BayCare in the Tampa Bay region.  Built around a Strategic Trilogy—Physician Strategies, Redefining Hospitals, and Building a Platform for Ambulatory Services—the model was designed to transform BayCare from operating in a hospital-centric model to one that is patient-centric.  To that end, BayCare’s new brand—Advancing Superior Health Care—was approved and launched on July 1, 2008.  At the core of this initiative was a brand promise to take extraordinary care of patients, one patient at a time.  It included a new symbol and brand architecture consistent with BayCare’s “Seven Strategic Directions.” Borne from this discussion was the newly created position of Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer.  This position would be responsible for system-wide marketing, strategic planning, public relations, and government affairs.  In collaboration with Steve Mason, BayCare President and CEO, and his team, this executive would be responsible for developing and deploying a system-wide integrated framework that linked strategy to execution, and that was designed to help the enterprise meet its strategic and business goals.  Further, it would actualize the full array of initiatives associated with launching and institutionalizing BayCare’s new brand across the system and throughout the marketplace.  To help guide BayCare in this new direction... Read full Case Study

Strategies to Energize & Engage your Hospital Volunteer Workforce

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Gallagher Integrated

Did you know the overall engagement level of volunteers has decreased? And that the factors that engage volunteers are changing? These events are significant and require a healthcare organizations attention.  A strong correlation has been proven between highly engaged volunteers, enriched patient experiences, and peak organization performance. Our recently published National Volunteer Benchmark Survey, comprised of data on thousands of volunteers serving within healthcare organizations nationwide, shows interesting changes since 2011. Integrated Healthcare Strategies recently hosted a webinar event that reviewed 3 important topics:

  1. How today’s healthcare volunteers view their experiences
  2. Strategies for maximizing the energy, enthusiasm and passion of volunteers
  3. The critical role of volunteers in the overall success of today’s healthcare organizations

Watch the webinar recording

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