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Getting Reform Right

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2012
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This article appears in the December 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Frustration with regulatory costs and requirements is a time honored business ritual, but the case can certainly be made that the current healthcare industry landscape is awash with new programs—such as the HITECH Act and meaningful use, ICD-10, shared savings, and value-based purchasing—each of which requires extraordinary spending levels and a dedication of human resources to meet compliance requirements.

Now imagine implementing this massive systemic change—cultural as well as structural—within the current national mind-set of cost cutting.

Perhaps the most telling response in the HealthLeaders Media 2012 Regulatory Strategies Survey is that less than half (48%) of respondents are even "somewhat prepared" to make the leap from fee-based payment to shared-risk payment, while 36% acknowledge they are not prepared at all. Only 17% say they are fully prepared.

"We know generally what we need to do, but if someone asked us to do that tomorrow, we don't have the infrastructure needed," says Stephanie Barnes Taylor, chief legal officer and general counsel for Singing River Health System in Gautier, Miss.

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