Most hospital leaders think major reforms needed to survive

Hospital executives agree that healthcare providers must change their business models to survive in the rapidly shifting modern healthcare landscape, according to a survey from Prudential Retirement.

Researchers from the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed more than 300 hospital leaders and found nearly 6 in 10 respondents thought it would be necessary for healthcare providers to alter their business models sooner rather than later. Respondents named the ongoing shift from fee-for-service care to a value-based payment system as the top challenge for hospitals, while rising healthcare costs came in a distant second. Leaders whose hospitals serve a low-income patient population expressed particular concern about coming up short on the resources needed to overhaul their payment systems. Experts have long warned that post-Affordable Care Act (ACA) federal incentives could unfairly penalize such hospitals.

In the next three years, a plurality of respondents--about 45 percent--predicted hospitals will deal with the changing landscape by increasing specialization, tightening their focuses on areas such as specific chronic conditions or geriatrics. Just under 40 percent predicted providers will step up their use of non-traditional delivery methods such as e-health.

Post-ACA, patient-centered care has also acquired increased importance for the future of healthcare, but respondents report slow progress. More than 6 in 10 respondents said consumers demand increased cost and outcomes transparency as their share of healthcare expenses increases. Nearly 70 percent, meanwhile, believe the aging population will leave hospitals with no choice but to incorporate end-of-life care into the traditional continuum of care, even as the percentage of respondents reporting they would likely reduce their focus on such care in the next decade slightly outflanked those saying they were likely to increase it.

To learn more:
- read the executive summary