AHA report: Tighter margins call for future hospital standardization

The American Hospital Association has provided a partial financial roadmap for the healthcare facilities of the future. "Hospitals must prepare for tightening margins," said the 29-page report, entitled "Hospitals and Care Systems of the Future."

In addition to the straitened financial picture, the report noted that the primary care workload will increase 29 percent by 2025, while the pool of providers will grow no more than 7 percent during that time.

"The renewed focus by government and payers on quality-based reimbursement combined with tightening margins commands hospital leadership to eliminate duplicative efforts and standardize processes through a combination of operational improvements and redesigned care-delivery models," read the report. "Financial margins are always considered throughout process improvement projects."

As an example, the report cited the case of North Mississippi Medical Center. It standardized the buying process for supplies, putting each through a trial period until it passed the muster of the medical staff and other hospital employees who use them.

The report also suggested the use of payment neutral systems over cost-shifting, as well as the closer integration of hospitals and physicians.

For more:
- here's the AHA report

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