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Last week, I attended HealthLeaders Media's annual CEO Exchange, where nearly 40 top executives from hospitals and health systems discussed their largest concerns around reducing costs, as they work to redesign the way their organizations deliver healthcare.
In the pre-event survey, 75% of the CEOs cited overall cost reduction and efficiency as one of their top two financial priorities for the next three years, so I wasn't surprised to hear a robust conversation on this hot topic.
These top leaders are looking beyond tactics for shaving a few percentage points off costs; instead, they talked about the need to restructure healthcare delivery in order to lower costs significantly.
Tackling Physician Utilization
One of the biggest areas of concern for hospital and health system CEOs is the need to rein in physician utilization of tests, imaging, procedures, and expensive medications, particularly in instances when the use of these resources does not result in better patient outcomes.
Troy Thibodeaux, executive vice president and CEO at Covenant Health System in Lubbock, TX, says that although his organization is always looking at labor and supply chain costs for ways to reduce expenses, he knows they must also tackle physician utilization in order to make more substantial gains.