4 healthcare leadership trends for 2015

Several trends in healthcare leadership will take shape and solidify in 2015, according to a whitepaper from healthcare executive search firm B.E. Smith.

In partnership with the American Hospital Association, B.E. Smith analyzed survey responses from more than 300 respondents within the healthcare executive field to determine the top trends, both new and continuing from previous years. Four include:

  1. Balancing savings and quality of care: In 2015, providers will continue to be under pressure to cut expenses in the face of reimbursement cuts and higher patient volumes. However, it is crucial that leaders maintain quality of care as they make these reductions, making sure to create the best possible outcomes for a fixed cost. "Such competition moves away from simply seeking the lowest cost or market pricing power," the whitepaper states.
  2. Greater emphasis on population health: Population health needs mean leaders will increasingly partner and collaborate with community institutions outside of the healthcare sector, such as soup kitchens, the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations. Healthcare leaders understand that to improve wellness and preventive healthcare among their patient base, they must "meet individuals at their locations and states of readiness."
  3. A changing leadership landscape: CEO turnover has been on the rise, reaching a record 20 percent in 2013. This means it is to providers' benefit to have strong, experienced interim leaders for the sake of stability. Slowly but surely, executive pay is responding to these changes, as well, with the industry gradually trending toward tying compensation to the performance-based care model, although nearly half of respondents say their organization has not yet incentivized values such as patient engagement and clinical outcomes. Healthcare likely will test out compensation incentives common in other sectors, such as bonuses based on project completion or merger transitions, the paper states.
  4. Emphasis on physician leadership: More and more, physicians are employed by health systems rather than independent practices, with the ratio predicted by some to surpass more than three-quarters by 2020. Despite this, physicians account for only 14 percent of C-suite hires. However, as health systems work to integrate the clinical and administrative sides of their organizations, this is likely to change, especially as physician leadership is linked to broader organizational success.

To learn more:
- read the whitepaper (.pdf)