"We know two things. We'll have higher transparency and lower reimbursement," he says. To work diligently on cutting costs, he incentivizes his managers with an internal pay-for-performance model based on keeping Kettering's costs at or below Medicare payments, "because one day, that may be all there is."
"When we put that in six years ago, I had some unhappy executives," he says. "They thought it was draconian, that I was mean and didn't like them, but the fact is that it also applies to me, so they can't say I was doing unto others what was not done to me. Now they are thankful they have been on this journey for over five years now. We can't cost shift like we used to."
These strategies are not cure-alls. But following these examples can help ensure your hospital isn't the one that ignores the "wolf" cry when it's finally the real thing.