Hospitals were asked about their health plan contracting priorities over the next 12 months and asked to rank 10 issues in the order of importance for their organization's success. I asked Brandon Edwards, president of ReviveHealth, to provide some insight into the results.
1. Higher contracting rates with their largest payer
Hospitals view getting a better payment rate from their largest customer as their best opportunity for revenue growth. Bundled payments and ACOs are important, but Edwards says hospital execs tell him that without better rates it doesn't matter what else they do. According to the survey, independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and WellPoint/Anthem account for the largest share of hospital net revenue.
2. Higher contracting rates with their second and third largest payers
If hospitals can't move the needle with their largest payer then they'll move onto others. UnitedHealth and Aetna are ranked second and third in terms of hospital net revenue, and according to the survey, hospitals may be prepared to put more pressure on those payers.