Healthcare News & Insights

Top 5 priorities for healthcare executives right now

Due to pending changes in the healthcare landscape, healthcare executives are altering their priorities for their hospitals to make sure they’ll be fully prepared for the challenges ahead. A new survey shows which areas the healthcare C-suite will be keeping top of mind. 

According to a news release, leading healthcare improvement company Premier surveyed healthcare executives (such as CEOs, COOs, CFOs and CMOs) online, asking them about the key areas of focus they intended to prioritize in their budgets and improvement initiatives.

Critical items

Five significant areas stood out the most to healthcare executives. In order of priority, they are:

  1. Managing costs, with a focus on drug spending. The costs of prescription medication have skyrocketed in recent years. Due to this and other budgetary constraints, hospitals are feeling the financial crunch more than ever before. Because of this, a majority of executives (61%) said they planned to increase their management of rising pharmaceutical spend. Facilities will also focus on cutting costs in general, with 65% of surveyed executives planning to increase efforts to control the cost of care management.
  2. Moving from meaningful use to meaningful insight. With news that the feds want to transform the meaningful use program into an initiative that focuses more on improving patient care, hospitals and health systems are planning to move beyond just recording patient data in electronic health records (EHR) systems. Many (53%) are exploring ways to improve patient care and supply chain management via advanced data analytics, using programs to take data from multiple sources and combining it to highlight trends and insights designed to boost productivity and reduce waste. Other executives are prioritizing interoperability in health technology (50%) and the use of tech to support risk-based payment models (47%).
  3. Engaging and satisfying consumers. Because patients’ financial responsibility for their health care is increasing, they’re beginning to see health care as a consumer-based purchase. More patients are shopping around to find the best prices and asking about the cost of their care upfront. And the C-suite is noticing, making it a priority to provide patients with more economical options to help them take control of their health. Nearly 60% of those surveyed plan to broaden the scope of telehealth in their facilities, and 45% want to increase their investment into patient engagement initiatives such as mobile apps.
  4. Shifting toward population health. Hospitals have been tasked with improving the health of the general population, and healthcare executives are stepping up to the plate by pledging to improve quality across the continuum of care. To improve patient outcomes, 45% plan on expanding post-acute care services via community partnerships, and 40% plan on expanding the care team by working with various healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners, care coordinators and pharmacists.
  5. Tracking and reporting clinical quality. Because of value-based payment initiatives that require detailed quality reporting, tracking quality of care is still a significant priority for healthcare executives. Almost half of the top brass indicated their organizations would be increasing their quality reporting to Medicare and Medicaid (through programs such as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System), and 36% said they’d be increasing their reporting to private payors.

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