Publisher’s Letter

Insights from the Industry

John Pritchard

The recent Federation of American Hospitals Public Policy Conference and Business Exposition, in Washington DC, was a great meeting and had record attendance. Kerry Price from the Federation has put an indelible stamp on the meeting and organization. If you didn’t attend this year, you really should consider it next year – it is a must-attend meeting!

I wanted to share a few takeaways from the meeting. By no means a comprehensive list of items, but certainly some interesting discussions. I did my best to capture these thoughts accurately, but I don’t think they are verbatim, so I am paraphrasing at times.

Cost cutting is not going away (Newt Gingrich)
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, made the point that cost cutting is not a fad, but a worldwide phenomenon. He made it clear that he believes faster, better, and cheaper are attributes that are here to stay.

Suppliers, can you align your goals with your customers, as opposed to shareholders? Business success will follow the success of your customer. (Pete Allen of Novation)
Sage advice from Pete Allen, who has been on both the supplier and GPO side of the desk. If publicly owned suppliers would focus on patients and their needs, the company would prosper. The converse to that is that the company focused on shareholder return, and that focus of putting energy into products, is not necessarily needed by the market.

Fifty six percent of patients look for cost of healthcare before getting care. (Matt Stevens of the Advisory Board)
Consumerism in healthcare was a huge re-occurring theme of the meeting. But the statistics Matt provided floored me. I knew more people were shopping their healthcare – especially Millennials – but I had no idea it was as high as 56 percent!

Give me convenience or give me death! (Julius Heil of Intalere)
Another patient demand for a better consumer experience. A better experience is coming to permeate all facets of healthcare as the marketplace continues to transform. Look for increasingly convenient, virtual, friendlier, closer care sights with expanded hours for Americans everywhere.

The problem isn’t where the best care is, but how we pay for care for all Americans. (Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL)
This is a great way to frame the need to restate that we don’t have a healthcare problem, rather a healthcare financing problem. Senator Rubio did a great job imploring the audience to keep providing great care for patients, and that Washington would find a way to make a sustainable finance model for those that need help.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think of these. Comment here or drop me a note at

John Pritchard