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Two recent leadership events summarized challenges hospital financial executives will face in 2017, amid a changing healthcare environment and regulatory uncertainty: Panelists participating in Becker’s Hospital Review’s 5th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable outlined six top challenges of Hospital CFOs; and healthcare technology experts Jonas Funk and Ken Graves from L.E.K. Consulting led a discussion of the challenges both healthcare providers and suppliers during a webinar titled “Capital Trends: Data and Insight from L.E.K. Consulting”.

The following were among the challenges identified by the Becker’s panel:

  1. Combat volume leakage: Competition between health systems is heating up, and the Becker’s panel identifies why this matters and how to address.

  2. Smart expansion: Hospitals are turning to mergers, acquisitions and affiliations as a strategy to grow their patient base and offering.

  3. Clinical documentation improvement: We all know clinical data accuracy can improve a hospital’s financial and clinical bottom line. The panel dives into the impact how this data should be used for quality reporting, physician report cards and reimbursement status.

  4. Build fundamentals of managing risk: Unlike insurers, hospital systems have little to no risk management experience. But in an era of value-based care, identifying and averting risks is critical for every area of the hospital.

  5. Paradigm shift in reimbursement: Managing the challenge of both fee-for-service and value-based reimbursement programs.

  6. Improve point-of-service collection rates: Ensure that collection efforts are successful by hiring and training skilled frontline staff.

We strongly encourage you to read more on these six challenges here.

Complementing the Becker’s panel discussion, L.E.K.’s Funk and Graves outlined more specific challenges for CFOs in capital equipment procurement, drawing on their firm’s annual Strategic Hospital Priorities Study and consulting experience. Their report suggested challenges that will be shared by both providers and suppliers in the year ahead including lack of efficiency, transparency, and insight within the capital equipment procurement process.

For providers, internal inefficiencies, limited availability of data and resources and a lengthy, complicated purchase process were among the greatest challenges cited by the L.E.K. experts.

Funk and Graves also identified the following trends as potential help for those “points of pain”:

·       Increasing openness to external partners who can help address key needs across the care continuum

·       Perceived opportunities for partnerships include strengthening their ability to gather insights, with data, analytics, and integration

·       Growing market interest, particularly among larger hospitals, to reconsider how they use GPOs

·       Working to address barriers that prevent broader usage of outcome-based pricing

Both events underscored dramatic, ongoing change in the healthcare industry and opportunities inherent in the challenges. Read the Becker’s article here; listen to a recording of the L.E.K. webinar here. The webinar was the first 2017 broadcast in the OpenMarkets Healthcare Supply Chain Broadcast Series, aimed at educating healthcare providers and equipment suppliers on how new processes and intelligence can be utilized to save valuable time, better collaborate with customers, and maximize efficiency. Sign up here for future broadcasts.

Interested in more insight on supply chain issues of the day?  Check out the “7 must-reads for supply chain leaders this week” by Mackenzie Bean at Becker’s Hospital Review.

Tom Derrick

Tom leads a range of core functions for OpenMarkets, including strategic partnerships and marketing. Prior to OpenMarkets, Tom served as a senior communications director for... More about Tom Derrick