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By Mary K. Totten and Pamela R. Knecht In today’s health care environment, the need for collaboration has perhaps never been stronger, with hospitals and health systems pursuing partnerships in a number of ways, including alliances, networks, affiliations and, at times, full mergers and acquisitions. In both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, one form of collaboration — joint ventures — has long been viewed as a sound strategy for achieving multiple objectives.
Traditional community-based boards in health systems and hospitals have long been the stalwart of health care governance because of their value in connecting health care organizations to the communities they serve.
Guided by their organization’s mission, vision and values, trustees must govern with their eye on the future, the well-being of patients, and the health of their communities.
Be sure every member fully understands his or her accountability, responsibilities and the expectations of the office, and document it all in a written position description...
The American Hospital Association’s report, Hospitals and Care System of the Future, describes the transformation of health care delivery from first curve to second curve, driven by a shift from volume driven to value-driven payment systems. While there is no single “end state” model that suitable for all organizations or communities, the report offers a compelling vision of “care systems” that are accountable, integrated and coordinated around patient and community needs.”
This year’s Thought Leader Forum was an opportunity to engage in executive dialogue around the topic of change leadership with a panel of top executives whose organizations have recently undergone significant changes, such as care model transformation, unconventional affiliations, large-scale acquisition, new service strategy, and infrastructure or organizational changes. We will discuss how they executed and managed change; key lessons learned; and how culture, engagement, brand, and systems factored into the changes.
For boards to participate in shaping their new organization, they must be currently performing at an extremely high level. The following is a list of four practices that hospital and health system boards must be engaged in today, in order to be successful in the future.
The traditional acute-care hospital is becoming just one of the entities within a larger system that probably includes primary and specialty care clinics, ambulatory care sites, behavioral health care and post-acute care. In addition, the systems may be employing physicians, developing robust philanthropic organizations, developing entrepreneurial businesses, conducting research and offering medical education.
For boards to participate in shaping their new organization, they must be currently performing at an extremely high level. The following is a list of four practices that hospital and health system boards must be engaged in today, in order to be successful in the future.
Society and industries are always evolving; revolutionary change occurs sporadically when powerful forces align to disrupt the old order. The health care delivery system today is in the midst of an historic transformation to redesign how care is delivered. The quite immodest aim is to take 20 to 30 percent of costs out of the system while maintaining or improving clinical outcomes and patients’ health.
A 2012 study of Governance Practices in an Era of Health Care Transformation conducted by AHA’s Center for Healthcare Governance found that work to create greater value is where hospitals and systems in the study— and their governing boards—are spending most of their time. According to study findings, participating organizations “are concentrating on the nuts and bolts of… reducing costs and improving care quality.” The work is wide-ranging and intensive:
Now that the Affordable Care Act has been upheld, it appears that the American health care delivery system is about to embark on unprecedented change. This transition encompasses a staggering number of issues: integration and physician alignment; significant reduction in Medicare reimbursement; heightened emphasis on quality and safety; the need to evaluate and pursue partnership options, such as mergers and affiliations with health care providers along the continuum of care; defining and delivering accountable care; and ultimately the complete transformation of an acute care based system to systems of care that promote and encourage population health.
As boards navigate between today’s fragmented, volume-focused health care system and a system that is more integrated and value-driven, there are plenty of issues that keep trustees up at night (see Figure 1). Are the transformational changes now confronting health care organizations affecting the way boards govern?