Meeting Healthcare Headwinds with Innovation
Hospitals and health systems faced tremendous uncertainty in 2017, a trend that will continue throughout 2018. As someone who led nonprofit health systems for two decades, I’ve seen firsthand how uncertainty can affect care delivery. Instead of waiting or wavering, providers must maintain their focus on efforts that improve safety, quality, and satisfaction, eliminate disparities of care, and reduce costs.
But achieving these care delivery goals is increasingly proving to be a challenge. According to a Navigant analysis of 2,000 hospitals, from 2015-2017, average operating margins dropped from 5.6 percent to 3.6 percent, a 35 percent decrease.
These trends are forecast to continue, if not worsen. Moody’s downgraded not-for-profit healthcare from stable to negative for 2018, predicting further decline in operating cash flow due in part to further swelling of staffing and technology expenses.
It was against this backdrop that C-suite executives representing more than 200 hospitals nationwide convened in fall 2017 in Washington, D.C., for the Navigant Transformation Institute’s 2017 CEO Forum. Throughout the session, executives discussed the key issues impacting providers, and shared examples of how their organizations are working to overcome them. Following are their collective insights on surviving — and thriving — in these uncertain times.
Laura S. Kaiser
President and CEO, SSM Health
Regional Vice President, Intermountain Healthcare
CEO, Utah Valley Hospital
President and CEO, HealthPartners (Minnesota)