What’s Trending? Observing the Impact of Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform and evolving reimbursement models are transforming the way care is and will be delivered and paid for. This has incited myriad responses by hospitals and physician groups, as well as other stakeholder groups, across the country. By working with healthcare systems and providers throughout the United States, ECG has an all-access view of how reform and the transition to value-based care are playing out in different regions. Here are some prominent trends we are observing. Continue reading

Five Attributes of the Thriving Value-Based Enterprise

Since the early 1990s, conversations about healthcare reform have taken place almost entirely in the future tense. Transformational change was desired but distant, interminably stalled by divisive politics and endless disagreements about what a new healthcare model should look like. A reformed system remained a hypothetical scenario; something that might happen someday.

Now it’s 2015, and if you’re still talking about reform in the future tense, you may soon find your organization being referred to in the past tense. Continue reading

Pediatric-Research Affiliations – A Culture Clash With Upside

As the healthcare industry delves more deeply into a system driven by value-based care delivery, the effects of reform mandates are becoming more pronounced for children’s hospitals. Shrinking margins and financial pressures have led pediatric providers to revisit long-standing affiliation agreements and explore new modes of partnership.

A similar dynamic has unfolded with regard to research enterprises. Ongoing cuts to traditional sources of public funding are a growing concern for pediatric hospitals and their affiliated AMCs. NIH funding decreased 10% between 2010 and 2013,1  a drop felt most profoundly by smaller research centers. Public funding has recovered since that time but has yet to achieve its previous heights, leading some children’s hospitals to alleviate their financial constraints by pursuing partnerships with nontraditional sources – such as pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Continue reading

The HealthKit Revolution, Part 2: Piloting Health Apps

During the past few years, providers have found it challenging to engage patients in their own care plans. Ironically, one of the primary hindrances to greater patient involvement is technology. Engagement beyond the office setting requires the willingness and ability of patients to transmit health information back and forth with their providers through some electronic medium.

For these interactions to be successful, however, technology tools need to be familiar, user-friendly, and convenient. And organizations need a mechanism for receiving that information and integrating it with their EHR platforms to ensure that the data has meaning and applicability. Continue reading

Time to Revisit – and Reboot – Your Affiliation Agreement

Children’s hospitals and academic institutions have traditionally enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship. For hospitals, prestigious affiliations result in an enhanced reputation and the chance to attract top physician talent. Medical schools, conversely, gain access to a specialty hospital for teaching, clinical training, and research.

This arrangement has been such a natural fit for so long that the agreements governing such relationships often go unexamined. “If it isn’t broken”…right? A partnership between a children’s hospital and medical school might not be broken, but in an industry marked by constant change, long-standing agreements may now be outdated and irrelevant. Continue reading