Ambulatory care is a critical component of value-based care delivery, which mandates improved care at lower costs. Health systems that have historically been inpatient focused have, in recent years, actively expanded their ambulatory networks through the acquisition of physician practices and deployment of other outpatient services within their service areas. But as systems grow in this way, they often create an overlap of capital assets, resulting in unintended, and often significant, inefficiencies and ongoing operational and capital costs.

To maximize the value of these ambulatory investments, health system leaders need to create a comprehensive ambulatory care strategy and an associated master plan to guide wise capital investment decisions and to align real estate portfolios with care model, patient experience, operating, geographic coverage and financial goals.

AMBULATORY MASTER PLAN

Kurt Salmon guides providers through a comprehensive ambulatory master plan process, and then provides a clear action path to address the big questions:

  • What is our ambulatory network strategy?
  • What operating models and clinical programs do we need in place to access the market we’re targeting?
  • What services will be most in demand in the future, and where should they be located?
  • What facility and capital asset investments need to be made—or divested?

Situation Analysis. A comprehensive assessment of the network’s current ambulatory care state includes functional, capacity, facility condition and market assessments for every capital asset. Kurt Salmon also uses a proprietary Ambulatory Activity–Based Segmentation methodology to collect and analyze raw data on local demographics, payor mix, utilization, patient complexity and clinical programs, among other variables.

Future-State Vision and Implications. Interviews with key stakeholders inform the guiding principles of the desired future state. We supplement this feedback with Kurt Salmon’s proprietary Ideal Patient Encounter framework to organize visioning for ambulatory encounters from the patient’s perspective. From here, we determine space needs and facility and financial implications. Part of this process can include financial modeling and building the business cases for any future-state investments or divestitures and evaluation of own/lease considerations.

Action Plan. Kurt Salmon works with providers and cross-functional teams to develop a strategy implementation plan that will gradually bring the ambulatory care program into alignment with the future-state vision. This plan lays out an approach for achieving overall initiatives, including phasing, project ownership, time frames and milestones, and resources required.

The result is an ambulatory care strategy and master plan that is data- and market-driven, that aligns with the organization’s strategic direction and mission, and that considers emerging demographic, care delivery and reimbursement trends.

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Exhibit 1: A proper ambulatory care master plan distributes services and facilities in ways that increase patients’ access to care, create cost efficiencies and reduce care delivery costs.

SIDEBAR: INTEGRATED CAPABILITIES FOR INTEGRATED CARE

The Kurt Salmon differentiating factor is our breadth and depth. We bring you field-tested insights, expertise and proven tools born from our experience of developing facilities for some of the world’s leading hospitals and health systems.

Our integrated teams include leaders from our facility and capital assets, strategy, and IT practice groups, meaning that our strategic and functional recommendations can also incorporate physician alignment as well as IT integration. We combine this deep industry expertise with our proprietary data-driven Ambulatory Activity– Based Segmentation and Ideal Patient Encounter methodologies. As well-respected, independent industry leaders, we also offer strong development, financial advisory and architecture recommendations to facilitate master planning strategy implementation.