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Don't Overlook Opportunities for Structural Transformation

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, December 28, 2012

If you're reading this, that means the world did not end a week ago. On the other hand, it also means your struggle with waste and inefficiency in healthcare continues.

In light of some of the new rules and regulations stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as the noise surrounding the unprecedented level of consolidation in healthcare services, sometimes structural transformation can take a back seat.

This is especially so when so many seemingly more immediate concerns are competing for the CEO's attention.

But you can't rest on working to get waste out of the system. It's a necessary precursor to being able to deliver on value. Excess costs are your enemy, and they're insidious, because they're not as visible as, for instance, a ratcheting down of reimbursement rates, or the potential combination of a local competitor with a deep-pocketed bigger system.

Yet they fester.

The more activist CEOs—those who are not just looking around for an exit ramp for their organization to lock arms with a competitor that is deeper-pocketed and further along the accountable care journey than they are—recognize this. They realize that the prerequisites for survival in an accountable care world have efficiency at the top of the list.

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