Hospital CEOs navigate the transition from volume to value

Hospital CEOs are struggling to bridge the gap between fee-for-service and value-based care, according to Huron Healthcare's third annual CEO forum.

Despite growing pressure for hospitals to deliver higher quality, more patient-centered care, the fee-for-service model isn't dead yet--putting CEOs in the tough spot of continuing current fee-for-service reimbursement while simultaneously moving toward payment reform.

"We definitely have a foot in two worlds. And on any day it's problematic," said participant James H. Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Health Care in Illinois. "When we look at our utilization numbers, for instance, we feel schizophrenic. 'This number is good. No, it's bad. No, it's good!'"

According to forum discussions with more than 35 healthcare CEOs, a major hurdle to delivering more high-value care is finding ways that lower costs now and under new payment and delivery models. Health reform calls for the right care at the right place at the right time, but the CEOs noted that doing the right thing often comes with a cost.

"It takes more time to build new infrastructures than any of us think. Whatever amount of time you thought it was going to take, double it," Skogsbergh warned.

And despite finding success with home visits from nurses to address frequent flier patients, the strategy might not become standard practice at Chicago's Cadence Health. "We need to be able to take that and make it systematic. Whether we can afford to or not is another question, but it is the right thing to do," Cadence President & CEO Mike Vivoda said during the forum.

However, the chief execs all seemed to agree the fee-for-service model is on its way out, and their assurance will help drive industry change, Hospitals & Health Networks Daily reported.

Successfully switching to value-driven care also requires CEOs willing to adapt, according to former hospital CEO Tim Morgan, CEO of B.E. Smith. Morgan said hospital leaders need to understand change is inevitable and lead their organizations to value-driven approaches with enthusiasm, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

For more:
- here's the Huron announcement and summary
- read the H&HN Daily article