Volume or value: Hospitals at the crossroads

Accountable Care Organizations are seen as key to healthcare’s future

Nearly 4,000 hospital and healthcare professionals, providers and suppliers convened in the Washington, D.C., area, in June for Premier healthcare alliance’s annual Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition. More than 100 sessions addressed such issues as clinical and supply chain excellence, physician engagement and leadership development. Specific topics addressed the strategic implications of reform through the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), prevention of hospital-acquired conditions, reducing readmissions and use of electronic health records.

“In order to truly improve the health of our populations, we need to make the big leap from process and outcomes improvement in the acute care setting to improving the health of our communities,” said Premier President and CEO Susan DeVore.

“Right now, we stand in between being paid for volume and being paid for value,” she said. “If you do the right thing and keep a patient healthy, you won’t get paid – and you cut off your revenue. This is unfair to hospitals, and unfair to your patients. That’s why [Accountable Care Organizations] are so crucial. They are the key to a true shared savings model that will reward us for doing the right thing.”

Prior to the conference, Premier and 19 of its alliance member health systems launched the ACO Implementation Collaborative for hospitals and health systems that are ready to deploy the ACO model in their communities today. At the conference, Premier launched the ACO Readiness Collaborative with nearly 40 health systems interested in developing the skills and expertise necessary to assume accountability for the health of the communities they serve.

Additional highlights from the conference included:

  • Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius shared the Obama administration’s plans to drive down costs, increase quality and transparency, eliminate waste and transform healthcare to focus on high value care that improves the health of the population.
  • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney offered his insights on how to make healthcare reform work.
  • Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care specialist physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a researcher and professor at Johns Hopkins University, discussed the importance of keeping patient safety first.
  • Sam Donaldson, a 43-year ABC News veteran, discussed his experiences as a patient receiving cancer treatment.
  • Twenty-three medical innovations selected by a committee of clinicians and other Premier hospital members were on display at Premier’s second Innovation Celebration. These new devices and products were chosen based on their ability to affect the safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of care.

Twenty-seven Premier alliance members won Supply Chain Excellence Awards, based on data from Premier’s comparative database of operational and supply chain cost information. They were:

  • Akron City Hospital of Akron, Ohio.
  • Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center of Mechanicsville, Va.
  • CMC Lincoln of Lincolnton, N.C.
  • Detroit Medical Center of Detroit.
  • Detroit Receiving & University Health Center of Detroit.
  • Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital of Tucumcari, N.M.
  • East Orange General Hospital of East Orange, N.J.
  • Espanola General Hospital of Espanola, N.M.
  • Florida Hospital East Orlando of Orlando, Fla.
  • Hutzel Women’s Hospital of Detroit.
  • Kings Mountain Hospital of Kings Mountain, N.C.
  • Lincoln County Medical Center of Ruidoso, N.M.
  • Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital of San Andreas, Calif.
  • Memorial Hospital Pembroke of Pembroke Pines, Fla.
  • Mercy Franciscan Hospital – Western Hills of Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Methodist Hospital of Henderson, Ky.
  • Methodist Hospital Union County of Morganfield, Ky.
  • Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital of Ashland, Ky.
  • Page Hospital of Page, Ariz.
  • Sinai-Grace Hospital of Detroit.
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center of Campbell County of La Follette, Tenn.
  • Summa Health System of Akron, Ohio.
  • Tanner Medical Center Inc. of Carrollton, Ga.
  • Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle of Azle, Texas.
  • University Hospitals Case Medical Center of Cleveland.
  • University of Louisville Hospital of Louisville, Ky.
  • Washakie Medical Center of Worland, Wyo.

Three members won the Supply Chain Innovation Award:

  • Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, which developed a database that captures supply chain contracting timelines.
  • Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis, which deployed an integrated instrument tracking and processing system.
  • Alamance Regional Medical Center, Burlington, N.C., which adopted “lean thinking” principles to it supply chain operations.

Suppliers received honors as well. For a complete list of award winners, see www.premierinc.com.

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