Healthcare CEOs predict increased focus on consumers, population health for 2015

Improved care quality, lower costs and preparation for the healthcare industry's transition to a value-based model will top healthcare CEOs' agendas this year, according to a new report.

More than 30 senior executives in the healthcare sector working in various settings, including academic medical centers, community hospitals and large hospital networks, took part in the Huron Consulting Group's annual Healthcare CEO Forum Report, which surveys healthcare chief executives' strategies for 2015.

Many respondents intend to significantly improve performance by up to 40 percent within the next three to five years, according to the report.  

"The transformation currently taking place in the healthcare industry requires leaders to see ahead of the curve," Executive Vice President Gordon Mountfound said in a statement. "CEOs and senior hospital executives must embrace this change while implementing new strategies in order to chart a successful path forward."

CEO strategies are concentrated in three key areas, according to the report:

Population health: Healthcare as an industry is shifting away from taking care needs as they come to prioritizing population health, and there are many ways to address that goal, including analyzing data, assessing necessary infrastructure changes and looking at new partnerships.

"Organizations must assess their brand, market share, and competitors in a given market," Huron Healthcare Managing Director Rob Schreiner, M.D., said in the statement. "How an organization ranks across those three business dimensions can have a predictive value on how aggressively that institution might pursue population health opportunities."

Consumerism: An increasingly consumerized healthcare landscape will also be a focus this year, as expanded consumer choice gives patients more say in the industry's direction.

Risk and reward: More traditional healthcare models that emphasize "command and control" are becoming a thing of the past, Tenet Healthcare Corporation Vice Chairman Keith Pitts said in the statement. This means the new models will emphasize collaboration, strategic management and payer-provider alignment, according to the report.

To learn more:
- download the report (.pdf, signup required)
- here's the statement