Healthcare CEOs Expect Flat to Negative Financials in 2014

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media , January 31, 2014

Or have they already invested? That's not clear from responses to the question above.

For that reason, let's not read too much into this one data point. Maybe some who will stay flat or report negative results expect to do so because of the investments they have to make to compete under value-based reimbursement, not because of the reimbursement regime itself.

But regardless of the reasons, my take-away from that question, and from recent conversations with CEOs, is that a big portion of them feel that their organizations are under siege. That's reflected in their margin expectations for this year.

Here's the dilemma for leaders: Many feel there's no way around making big investments that may or may not pay off. That is, reimbursement will ratchet down regardless, and whether they make the investments necessary to transform their business model now or later, they'll only be rewarded by losing less money than they otherwise would—maybe.

Uncertainty can be a great reason for standing pat, but make no mistake: The organization will fall further and further behind.

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