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Take Your Place Among the Healthcare Giants

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2014

Unless yours is one of the very largest health systems, you may be best served by finding your unique niche. It doesn't preclude partnerships with larger organizations, but leaders must act.

In my story for the June issue of HealthLeaders magazine, Critical Times for Small and Rural Hospitals, I wanted to profile some of the strategic decision-making that successful smaller organizations are pursuing in their drive to remain relevant in a rapidly changing healthcare reimbursement environment.

I struggled a bit to find consensus among the leaders of the many organizations I interviewed. I wanted that consensus, because I was putting myself in the position of you, the leader of a similar institution that is looking for good ideas.

I never found it, but I decided as I tried to put into words what I had learned from these conversations, that lack of consensus is not necessarily a bad thing. Because the environment for healthcare services, and what will be in demand as buyers of healthcare—whether individual patients through the exchanges or employers or giant payers—is uncertain as those customers demand better value.

That can be a positive, though. It means you can tailor your own best solutions.

Overall, I think many hospital and health system executive leaders would reluctantly agree that much of what's causing the disruption in healthcare business models will ultimately result in better value and higher quality care for patients.

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