Kurt Salmon recently attended Becker’s Hospital Review’s 7th Annual Meeting in Chicago. Takeaways from the conference are shared below.

What insights were shared at the conference?

While hospitals around the country are collectively moving toward population health and value-based care, no two organizations are alike. As a result, there is no singular game plan or rule book for moving to value-based care that hospitals can follow. Providers must rather forge an individual path with the understanding that they will experience unique twists and turns based on their business structure, employee base, and community and patient needs. They’ll all eventually arrive at the same endpoint, but no traveler will have the same tale.

What resonated most with the audience?

The amount of data available to hospitals and health care systems as a result of new technology is massive. However, one question remains: How many hospitals actually leverage this data to develop predictive insights? 

Ultimately, very few. There is a difference, unfortunately, between the ability to capture data and the ability to analyze it and put it into a format that is usable to providers. The missing link in being able to translate data into action is the fact that various entities often own different parts of the same dataset. If you are a provider and you don’t have insight into the claims stream, you’re flying blind. Same goes for the payor who doesn’t have access to hospital analytics. Having full visibility across the continuum will be what finally moves the needle.

What new thinking emerged?

Despite dominating the current health care conversation, ACOs are just a stepping stone along the value-based journey. Over the next few years, hospitals will be able to successfully root out excess waste and wade into risk-based payment models. Some are starting to do so with their pursuit of value-based contracts, and many are developing clinically integrated networks to align and leverage their clinical, financial and operational efforts, which in turn also help mitigate some of the risk associated with value-based care. Once they’ve fully made the transition and the “waste well” has run dry, the industry will be forced to find new ways to continue improving. What will that look like? Well, that’s largely up to you. 

25 May 2016