Healthcare News & Insights

How hospitals can boost profits while providing value

In a climate that’s increasingly focused on value, hospitals must do what they can to stand out from the pack if they want to maintain a healthy level of profit growth and avoid the revenue loss that results from missing the mark on quality. 

An article from Hospitals & Health NetworksStethoscope on Money lays out some of the biggest revenue-related changes for hospitals over the past few years, which include:

  • the shift to value-based and bundled payments from payors
  • shrinking market growth due to outpatient surgery centers and urgent care centers
  • fewer referral sources because more physicians are contracted with specific hospitals, and
  • more value-conscious patients who are sensitive to healthcare costs.

These elements make it tougher for hospitals to expand their business. Seeing fewer patients, and receiving lower reimbursement for treating them, can wreak havoc on a facility’s budget and profit margins.

But there are ways to help your hospital thrive under these conditions.

Finding growth opportunities

The article discusses four key areas hospitals should focus on to increase their chances of success and boost their growth potential:

  1. Patient-reported outcomes. Hospitals already have to focus on patients’ outcomes for certain targeted conditions and illnesses due to mandates from the feds. But it’s also crucial for facilities to improve their performance regarding the outcomes that matter most to patients, such as treatment length and convenience, and total recovery time. Hospitals that shine in this regard will attract more patients.
  2. Comprehensive solutions to health problems. It’s not enough for hospitals to simply treat patients for one specific acute problem. Because hospitals are gradually becoming more responsible for general population health, they must take a holistic approach to patients’ treatment that focuses on their outcomes over the entire continuum of care. Besides offering options such as surgery, hospitals should partner with other providers to expand into other areas, including preventive care like nutrition counseling and wellness programs.
  3. Brand credibility. Patients have many choices for their health care. Because of this, they’re more likely to be influenced in their decision based on what they’ve heard about a hospital’s reputation. Big name facilities such as Johns Hopkins have a clear advantage here, but smaller facilities can build on any successful press they’ve received for any reason (from positive performance on rankings to innovative quality initiatives) to help increase their credibility – and their business.
  4. Market development. Beside building on their image, hospitals should also work on providing other services that make them more attractive to patients. Price transparency is one big area where hospitals can dominate the market and increase patient traffic. By setting clear prices, being up front about expenses and relating the costs of care to its quality, hospitals can convince cost-conscious patients about the real value of their care. Plus, payors are also more willing to work with hospitals that can present concrete financial data to show how their costs relate to quality of care.

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