IOLAG Healthcare Pioneers Suggest Bold Rx

Landmark Employer Study to Be Published in American Journal of Medical Quality

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A cross section of leaders from high-performance hospitals, clinics and accountable care organizations (ACOs) today announced that they will publish a landmark employer study suggesting how U.S. hospitals and physicians can best prepare for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Informed Opinion Leadership Action Group’s (IOLAG) research, "Necessity Prompts Strategic Adaptation," will be profiled in a supplement to the January/February 2011 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality.

“The opinions from the national leadership group can be summarized in my view as a clarion call for a renewed commitment to making hard choices that require we abandon the status quo, not just modify it,” said David B. Nash, M.D., MBA, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Medical Quality and dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health.

Jason Hwang, M.D., MBA, executive director of healthcare at Innosight Institute, praised the IOLAG document for offering “motivation and guidance to healthcare leaders who wish to challenge longstanding notions of what comprises a healthcare system and how health services can become convenient and affordable enough such that anyone can access them. ACA is only the latest wakeup call to re-examine our healthcare business models. We cannot afford to hit the snooze button again.”

States Paul H. Keckley, Ph.D., executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions: “The healthcare industry will thrive because it’s too important to fail.”

The IOLAG met earlier this month at the famed Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C., where those in attendance participated in a Care Coordination Summit advocating a population health-based approach to healthcare reform. Population health improvement is built around value creation through meaningful productive interactions and the personalized experiences between consumers and providers, purchasers and payers.

America's hospitals and physicians face a dramatically different healthcare financing and delivery landscape under the ACA. The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services has wide discretion to develop, implement and evaluate new care models that include, but are not limited to, ACAs, a national hospital-physician payment bundling pilot, patient-centered medical homes, reimbursement reductions for "avoidable” readmissions and other forms of value-based purchasing.

Informed opinion leader interviews were conducted with IOLAG co-contributors during June and July to elicit practical, reliable, and relevant information regarding how hospitals and their physicians could best prepare for those parts of the ACA that have the most direct impact on the future delivery and financing of care. For these interviews the IOLAG sought to identify co-contributors of the IOLAG who were:

  • Widely recognized for innovative thinking, actions and accomplishments in population health and
    improving healthcare delivery;
  • Experts on the key delivery and financing changes sought to be put in place by the ACA; and
  • Representative of a wide range of stakeholders who will be affected by changes under the ACA.

The IOLAG’s hospital market sector team leader, James B. Couch, M.D., created a robust, standardized set of 17 open-ended questions used to obtain input from all co-contributors based on their broad and deep experiences. According to Dr. Couch, the questions asked were intended to elicit recommendations from the informed opinion leaders on how hospitals and physicians would need to change their fundamental way of doing business to survive and thrive in the emerging value-based purchasing and accountable care environment created by national healthcare reform.

Co-contributors included chief executive officers and chief operating officers of major hospitals and health systems, deans of schools of medicine and population health, senior executives of major national healthcare delivery systems, value-based purchasing alliance systems, medical group practice leadership, emerging ACO disruptive improvement entities, culture-of-health enterprises and managed care organizations.

The IOLAG suggested key business and clinical processes that hospitals and physicians need to redesign for the new delivery and reimbursement environments created by the ACA, including a list of do’s and don’ts.

As the architects of public policy and transitions-of care providers on the front lines continue to reshape the nation’s ailing healthcare system, one promising path to healthier communities will be through population health improvement tools, techniques and best practices that power “neighborhood cultures of health” and wellbeing. The IOLAG has suggested that hospitals need to integrate their work with local communities to create these cultures of health through strategic adaptation business alliances and determine how best to meet the highly anticipated increased demand from consumers for their services.

Neighborhood health assurance collaboratives and strategic business adaptation alliances are emerging with innovative hospital and clinic employers and integrated medical and behavioral guided-care providers focused on fixing healthcare on the front lines. David N. Gans, vice president of innovation and research for the Medical Group Management Association, noted that the ACA “will forever change patient demographics, demand for professional and ancillary services, payer mix and how hospitals and physicians are paid. It also could be the catalyst that will bring physicians, medical group practices, and hospital systems into coherent organizations that coordinate services, improve operating efficiency and provide world-class care to America.

IOLAG Chairman Les C. Meyer, a seasoned healthcare strategist, said that even prior the ACA, “there were already multiple, growing challenges to the unfocused, unsafe, unfriendly, inefficient and inequitable business models of healthcare delivery in America. The point is that minding the gap of the quality chasm is essential and crossing the value chasm is imperative.”

The IOLAG will hold a press conference at the Jefferson School of Population Health on January 20, 2011 to formally release its study and thereafter embark on a 15-city tour to explain the research.

About the IOLAG

The Informed Opinion Leadership Action Group, LLC’s mission is to fill the need for breakthrough ideas from independent healthcare leaders who create meaningful distinctions in the healthcare market and suggest an insightful exchange of information for sound decision making.


Les C. Meyer, MBA, 303-916-0017
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Colorado

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Public Policy/Government  Healthcare Reform  Other Health  Public Policy  Research  Science  General Health  Managed Care