Profit centers become cost centers. The pace of the change is uncertain. Capital and labor expenses need a fresh look under a different reimbursement scheme. And that's just the beginning of the transformation that so many healthcare leaders expect. Transforming too quickly can get you just as fired as not transforming quickly enough.
Timing, it seems, is everything.
Finding the answer to this question was the basis of a story in this month's issue of HealthLeaders magazine. Trouble is, I'm still not sure even now that I know the right answer on what the pace of change should be.
Perhaps there is no right answer.
"This is the biggest dilemma there is for hospital leaders going forward because it puts them between a rock and hard place," says Doug Fenstermaker, a managing director and vice president of healthcare at Warbird Consulting Partners. "The problem in the short term is that they need to begin preparing and working toward a number of complex issues—pay for value, and how that affects physicians in particular—that's transformational in how they're going to be paid going forward, and changes the mindset in how physicians will be dealing with patients."