Ian Morrison: Private purchasers demand high quality, low costs from providers

Affordability is urgently needed in healthcare and the industry must continue to find innovative ways to constantly improve care while lowering costs for private healthcare purchasers, who drive the market and hold the entire financial margin of the healthcare delivery system, futurist Ian Morrison, Ph.D., writes in Hospitals & Health Networks.

Hospitals and healthcare providers must make changes to improve and streamline healthcare delivery rather than settling for the status quo if they want to compete in the marketplace. 

Purchasers want to see timely care delivered with minimal disruption to valuable employees' time, and prefer integrated care movements, Morrison writes. With employees bearing more of the burden of healthcare costs, many purchasers know that it won't be possible to keep shouldering increasing costs and demand a delivery system that performs better and more efficiently.

Purchasers encourage their employees to embrace the new wave of healthcare, Morrison writes. To meet their needs, providers must show they are transparent, consumer-friendly, focused on wellness and preventive medicine, value-based, focused on patients with chronic conditions and open to participation in reference pricing, according to the article.

Centers of excellence models are another draw for purchasers. Providers like the Cleveland Clinic, Virginia Mason in Seattle work with purchasers to create bundled payment programs for care, evaluating possible surgery cases, Morrison writes.

Direct contracting with companies that demand higher quality and lower costs forces healthcare providers to step up if they want to keep the multi-year contracts, and an opportunity to create exclusive accountable care organization relationships, according to the article.

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