HealthLeaders: For those healthcare organizations that may not have embraced healthcare reform over the last four years, how quickly can they catch up?
Johnson: IT is the key, and if an organization hasn't achieved Stage 1 of meaningful use by now, they are truly behind. You should be talking about Stage 2 by now; you need to know how you'll work with an Exchange, how you'll communicate [patient] information within the community and through a patient portal. All of these are important parts of the future of healthcare. For those that aren't too far along, they'll really need to accelerate their pace of change greatly. Also, it takes a significant [capital] investment into infrastructure in order to succeed with these [healthcare reform] strategies. They'll need to be ready for it.
Bloomfield:When I look back at our journey, I realize just how long it takes to prepare for this transformation. It will be interesting to see how fast [those that haven't made strides toward reform] can increase their pace if they haven't started before now. There's a lot of work that goes into evolving an organization in this new direction. I'm grateful we made our decisions independent of what might happen politically with the election.
Hinds:What I think we'll see [in the industry] is a lot more risk-sharing [payer contracts], which [healthcare leaders] have been holding back on. We in healthcare, especially on the provider side of the industry, haven't had a lot of experience in risk-sharing. It's a new concept for us and it's not where we have a lot of depth and experience. It's an area that all of us have been worried about getting into, but we'll have to get in there and figure it out. Reform was always going to happen in our industry anyway—it was only a matter of timing.