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Having an Impact

Edward Prewitt, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2012
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This article appears in the December 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

For the sixth straight December, our editorial staff has chosen the HealthLeaders 20—people who are making a difference in healthcare. Once you start reading these fascinating profiles (starting on p. 10), you won't be able to stop. They display the range of influences and actors in healthcare today: executives of health systems such as Nancy Schlichting and Patrick McGuire; health plan leaders such as Bruce Bodaken; physician leaders such as Hiep Nguyen; and nurse leaders like Sharon Gentry. The HealthLeaders 20 features academics and researchers, government officials, philanthropists, and—at the heart of healthcare—patients and patient advocates. I encourage you to read the longer versions of these profiles at www.healthleadersmedia.com/20people/, along with those from previous years.

This year, we include a special 21st entry for a party that also influenced healthcare in a huge way. In deciding the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court based its decision on legal hair-splitting rather than a consideration of the healthcare system as a whole. Everyone else has to deal with the outcome. In our latest Intelligence Report, on healthcare reform and regulation (highlights start on p. 28), healthcare executives who have joined the HealthLeaders Media Council say that dealing with PPACA and other regulations won't be easy. The plusses and minuses of reform depend on your patient mix and which state you operate in, among other factors. Less than half of our respondents say they are even "somewhat prepared" to shift from fee-for-service reimbursement to shared-risk payment, while 36% concede that they are not prepared at all. A Premium version of this Intelligence Report is available on our website, featuring segmented data, analysis, and takeaways from our editorial team, and case studies of how healthcare leaders are dealing with reform.

The HealthLeaders model is to talk directly with the leaders of healthcare, and to get them to talk with one another. At our recent CFO Exchange in Kiawah Island, S.C., 30 hospital and health system financial leaders gathered with HealthLeaders editors for two days of conversation and insight. Their No. 1 concern was cost containment in the face of declining Medicare reimbursements, value-based purchasing penalties, and shifting inpatient volumes. You can read about their plans (hint: start with IT) on p. 68 and in greater depth on our website, where we are publishing multiple Impact Analyses from this year's CFO and CEO Exchanges.

Looking back at the end of a momentous 2012 for healthcare, we at HealthLeaders Media look forward to more conversations and Exchanges with readers in 2013. As always, I invite your thoughts on our offerings and your ideas for what we could do better.


This article appears in the December 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.


Edward Prewitt is the Editorial Director of HealthLeaders Media.
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