Transformation and the Governance Agenda: Keeping Your Board on Track

Original content published in the November/December 2012 issue of Trustee magazine, Vol. 65, No. 10. © 2012 by Health Forum Inc. All rights reserved. Permission granted for digital use only

By Sean Patrick Murphy and Mary K. Totten

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.

To make matters even more complex, hospitals and systems will need to evaluate each of these issues within the context of their existing strengths and weaknesses, financial performance, ability to control and reduce costs, existing programs and integration initiatives, access to capital, current quality and safety performance and, of course, their local market. Simply put, when a local health care market begins to change rapidly in these areas, the urgency and pace of change accelerates, often placing organizations in a reactionary mode that makes everything move faster.


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