There’s a lot that we still don’t know about health reform. ACOs are still unicorns, a mythical creature with impressive powers, and there’s still a real risk major portions of the legislation may not survive to implementation.
Despite this, there’s quite a lot we do know about health reform. Particularly if we recognize the goals pushing our organizations forward and the constraints that we’ll be facing in the future.
This message came through clearly in an afternoon-long session on Health Reform led by Ellen Barron of University of Iowa Health Care, Peter Brumleve of Scott and White Healthcare, and Suzanne H. Sawyer of University of Pennsylvania Health System. They assert that while we don’t know all of the details, we do know the types of challenges that we’ll be facing and, as a result, we can assess how prepared our organizations are for what’s coming.
The session was organized around eight desired core competencies that the presenters’ organizations are using to assess their own readiness. This model was created by Kauffman, Hall & Associates and focused on:
- Physician Integration
- Care Coordination
- Cost Management
- Information Systems Sophistication
- Balanced Service Distribution
- Payor Relationships/Contracts
- Financial/Capital Capacity
To truly reform these key areas will require looking outside traditional models. We’re looking at tremendous change across the entire organization and to facilitate that change, the way care is delivered will need to change. The mix of services organizations offer and the ways they are promoted will change. And most importantly, the relationships between key stakeholders– hospitals, clinicians, payers, and don’t forget patients – will change.
From a practical perspective, the question isn’t if your organization is ready. The question is, how are you going to get ready?