HealthLeaders Media's roundtables provide in-depth coverage of the most important issues confronting healthcare leaders today. Each roundtable offers insightful analysis of many sides of an issue as presented during a freewheeling discussion among healthcare industry experts. Find out about sponsoring a roundtable or contact the editor for more information.
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The Emerging Role of Transparency

November 13, 2014

The paradigm shift occurring in healthcare is elevating transparency from buzzword status to a strategic component of many hospitals' and health systems' efforts to achieve the Triple Aim. Companies that provide consumers with ways to evaluate the quality and safety of hospitals are also driving the call for more transparency. Pushing out data to internal and external audiences so that it will lead to more accountability for quality and patient outcomes takes considerable clinical, technological, and workforce resources. Providers who are tackling the challenge of transparency often cite the various scorecards and rating systems as a starting point for change. Collecting accurate data and mining it for meaning remains a significant hurdle; however, metrics are an important part of the transparency toolbox that aims to improve clinical quality, patient experience, and value. [Sponsored by HealthGrades]


Financing Integration: Tapping New Sources of Liquidity

November 4, 2014

Health systems are positioning themselves for new reimbursement models amid shaky financial, regulatory, and political environments. The uncertainty leaves providers more focused on liquidity. Many have found medium-term capital an attractive alternative in their strategic capital formation to fill the gap between short- and long-term investments. Matching credit term length with the useful life of assets such as electronic medical records systems, clinical integration with outpatient care settings, and infrastructure enhancements (e.g., renovations, energy projects) presents many economic, accounting, and compliance benefits. [Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch]


Changing Culture, Leading Strategy at Healthcare Organizations

October 13, 2014

Culture and strategy often are regarded as "soft" elements of organizational leadership, yet nothing is more vital. An incorrect strategy or resistant culture often become discernible only when an organization is on the rocks. How can leaders inculcate the right strategy and culture in their organizations? An axiom holds that "culture eats strategy," which is a barrier to enacting change in a changing healthcare industry. Strategy is about setting priorities and allocating resources. As resources tighten, priorities for most healthcare organizations today are changing. Organizational culture is defined as a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and behavior. Healthcare leaders speak of a culture of safety, a culture of wellness, or a patient-centered culture. Often, however, culture proves resistant to change. Top executives must point the way, but ultimately culture and strategy are about leading people to a desired new state. Leaders must build trust that they are heading in the right direction. [Sponsored by INTEGRATED Healthcare Strategies]


IT Systems and Effective Treasury Management

August 13, 2014

Healthcare is in a state of upheaval. Nowhere is this more evident than in treasury management, where the ability of a health system to be paid for its work can be jeopardized thanks to a number of initiatives that threaten to slow or halt payment—from ICD-10 to new commercial payment models to the need to effectively integrate hospital and physician practice billing and collection. At the same time, new points of revenue collection are opening up. Health systems are investing millions for better patient accounting systems. But integration between IT systems that bring money into the organization and those that catalog patient care is fraught with potential potholes. Further, consolidation in the industry means conversions of legacy systems, which provide further room for expensive delays and missteps. Mission-critical revenue and accounting systems require working capital, which can be obtained, but cost savings from all this change are expected as well. Senior financial leaders are quickly learning how to manage the transition of their health system's most critical systems without costly breakdowns. [Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch]


Healthcare-Acquired Infections: Culture Over Campaigns

June 13, 2014

Although healthcare-acquired infections have received wide spread attention from hospitals, healthcare associations, and regulators, they remain a serious patient care issue and an avoidable high expense. The 2010 goal set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to decrease HAIs by 40% by 2013—which would result in 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients—was not met. Starting October 1, 2014, hospitals with the highest rates of preventable HAIs will be penalized 1%, adding to existing federal penalties. Hospitals and health systems can invest in educating clinicians and cleaning staffs, enforcing proven measures such as hand washing, and installing systems to monitor rates following interventions. Yet HAI prevention and treatment depends less on procedures and more on culture, leadership, and organizational commitment, say five healthcare leaders who recently joined with HealthLeaders Media for an in-depth, three-hour conversation. [Sponsored by UL Workplace]


Life After Acquisition

June 12, 2014

Consolidation in healthcare has been the trend for many years, and it shows no sign of abating as provider organizations look to redesign care delivery models and prepare for the shift toward population health management and value-based purchasing. For those institutions that have already undertaken an acquisition, many challenges exist, including merging IT infrastructures, blending different organizational cultures, and balancing local versus corporate control. With so much at stake during the transition process, senior leaders have to set and execute the right plan in order to achieve the goals of the acquisition. HealthLeaders Media recently joined with four executives for an in-depth conversation on the trends that are driving acquisitions and the steps that are needed to ensure successful integration once the transaction is complete. [Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch]



The Imperative of Alignment

April 11, 2014

The changes in healthcare delivery that hospitals and health systems seek in today's market cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of physicians. Conversely, many physicians find that they need relationships with hospitals to guarantee patient volume and income. Physician-hospital alignment is the phrase used to describe the ideal state of physicians in lockstep with strategic goals. But achieving alignment is complex. The trend of employing physicians continues, yet employment does not necessarily lead to integration. Whether employed or independent, and regardless of specialty, physicians must see value in collaborating with acute care hospitals. Executives and physician leaders need one another to counter declining reimbursements and the other challenges facing the industry. HealthLeaders Media recently joined with five executives for an in-depth, three-hour conversation on governance, compensation, culture change, and accountability. [Sponsored by MedSynergies]


Cost-Cutting, Efficiencies, and the Revenue Cycle

February 13, 2014

As healthcare margins tighten and cost-cutting takes center stage, professionally run healthcare organizations seek efficiency gains in their financial operations. Large cost-saving opportunities lie in the revenue cycle and vendor management. Financial officers must learn to work smarter with a range of vendors, contractors, and outsourcers; with payers; and with self-pay patients through revenue cycle and payment channels. From high-deductible health plans that cause bad debt problems to Recovery Audit Contractors to coding changes to medical necessity judgment, providers have to be sophisticated in order to get paid. Yet still-emerging models of payment offer the promise of improved finances and a better patient experience. HealthLeaders Media recently joined with five executives for an in-depth, three-hour conversation on tightening budgets, the difficulty of collecting at point of service, and readiness for the crucial shift to value-based reimbursement. [Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch]


Postacute Care and the Care Continuum

February 12, 2014

Hospitals and health systems increasingly must work with providers across the continuum of care to meet the demands of value-based purchasing, reduced reimbursements, new payment structures, and readmissions penalties. Postacute care is the subject of increased interest and focus because it holds the dual promise of improved clinical care and cost containment. Many healthcare providers are purchasing or partnering with a range of postacute facilities such as long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and skilled nursing facilities, as well as home- and community-based services such as home health and hospice care. Important structural and financial questions remain to be resolved as well as the identification of partners that integrate postacute care plans across the care continuum. [Sponsored by Community Hospital Corporation]


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