How CEOs can shrink expenses without sacrificing patient care

Hospital CEOs can shrink their hospital's expenses without sacrificing clinical care and patient services, according to an article in Healthcare Global. But results aren't always guaranteed.

Over the past decade, operating costs for hospitals have been steadily rising and those expenses are often passed on to patients and payers. Indeed, hospitals throughout the country have put an intense focus on cutting costs and improving their bottom lines, often prodded to do so by insurers, employers and government officials. 

Instead of cutting patient care services, look instead to operating costs, the Healthcare Global article suggests.

For example, switching from incandescent, fluorescent and high-energy lights to energy-efficient, low-amp lighting can also save money. Resurrection Health Care, which operates several facilities around the Chicago area, switched to energy-efficient, motion sensing lights--and is saving $900,000 year on utilities across all of its facilities, the article reports.

Similarly, demand response programs for energy consumption can save hospitals big bucks, FierceHealthcare previously reported. In 2013, Ohio-based Mercy Health secured new electricity, natural gas and demand response contracts for its 19 hospitals, and integrated care and physician-practice facilities, saving save the system more than $300,000 in the first year alone.

Despite success stories, hospital cost-cutting measures can be hit-or-miss, as FierceHealthFinance has reported. Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago worked hard to reduce its cost per case mix index mix by 15 percent--but the initiative probably cost another $11 million in manpower to implement. 

The Healthcare Global article also explores ways to save money on waste removal and shipping and also recommends vendor-shopping for the best prices on goods and services. 

To learn more:
- read the article

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