Council Connection: The Key Metrics

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 13, 2011
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The HealthLeaders Media Council is comprised of executives from healthcare provider organizations who collectively deliver the most unbiased industry intelligence available. In monthly interviews with HealthLeaders editors, selected members of the Council share their insight and analysis.

Our annual industry survey shows that most healthcare leaders (72%) say their organization is on the right track, but few (24%) say the healthcare industry is on the right track. As you look at the changing healthcare environment, what are the key metrics you will be watching to ensure that your organization stays on track?

Dan Wolterman
President and CEO
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, TX

With our metrics we’re basically riding two tracks. We are running the existing business model that has been in play for a number of years, which is fueled by fee for service and taking care of patients, making it the highest quality, the best customer service, the most convenient. And that model is built on driving volume and price. We have been very successful under that model.

We believe that model has a number of years still to run, but we had to build the second model, which we are doing. That is more of a model of integrated care where doctors, hospitals, and other providers are under one team, and we are going to get a flat payment of some sort, whether it is bundled or capitated, and we will be responsible for the health of a population of people.

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We are running down the path of operating those two business models; obviously, they are polar extremes. One is based on volume and price. One is based on prevention and wellness, and how you manage that. That is why you get differing responses in these two survey
questions. The more progressive systems are agreeing the industry needs to change, but they don’t see in the regulations or anything else now in the market the impetus to make that change.

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