MDS President Tells Ohio Hospital Association to Expand Their Horizons Through Clinical Integration and a Focus on Population Health Management

For MDS ConsultingRoss Goldberg, 818-597-8453, x-1

Phil Dalton, president and CEO of , told attendees at the annual meeting of the Ohio Hospital Association that “It’s a new day in healthcare,” calling for physicians and healthcare executives to expand their horizons through a clinical integration strategy and a focus on population health management.

“Insurers acknowledge their inability to manage rising costs, Medicare finances are not sustainable, and employers can no longer accept double-digit increases,” said Dalton. “Add to that the realities that America’s population is aging and that millions of previously uninsured citizens will enter the system under the Affordable Care Act, and it’s clear that physicians and hospitals need to think anew regarding their fundamental business strategies.”

Dalton said that the industry needs to prepare for a future of reduced inpatient volume and a movement toward population management, accountable care and physician/hospital alignment. That movement has already begun as today there are more hospital-owned physician groups than there are physician-owned groups.

“Physicians are increasingly finding that in most markets there simply is not enough private pay to make a practice profitable, and going it alone doesn’t provide the muscle or infrastructure necessary to negotiate favorable contracts with payers,” said Dalton. “At the same time hospital leaders are finding that a multi-pronged physician alignment strategy that includes employment opportunities, joint ventures and other innovative models helps protect existing market share while increasing inpatient and outpatient revenues.”

In addressing Ohio’s top healthcare executives, Dalton spoke about the trend toward accountable care organizations through which a group of healthcare providers agree to be accountable for the quality, cost and overall care of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the traditional fee-for-service program and who are assigned to it.

“Coordinating care in this manner coupled with solid case management will reduce cost and improve quality,” said Dalton. “It is time for physicians and hospitals to more closely work together and align their incentives so they and the communities they serve can see the financial and health benefits inherent in this model of care.”

A frequent speaker and author, Dalton’s views on the challenges facing the healthcare industry have been published in and many others. Later this year, September 22-24, MDS Consulting will hold its 8 annual Healthcare Leadership and Executive Conference in Las Vegas to explore the changing healthcare landscape, with a particular emphasis this year on “the new era of healthcare partnerships.”

is a national healthcare consulting firm that helps hospitals, medical groups, health systems and other healthcare organizations achieve their goals for development, growth and profitability. The MDS team of executive-level professionals provides individualized solutions and creative insights in such areas as physician/hospital alignment, medical group management, health reform/accountable care, financial assessments, hospital/healthcare strategic planning and implementation, and regulatory compliance. Further information may be obtained at .