Is there a future for the independent community hospital? A variety of factors have converged into a perfect storm that is battering community health care facilities’ finances, including:
• Declining reimbursement
• Higher costs of capital
• Increasing patient financial responsibility leading many consumers to seek care in lower-cost settings or opt out entirely
• Lower operating margins than larger health systems
• Advances in health care delivery that cut patient volumes and shortens hospital stays
• Lower-priced retail clinics and health networks that are extending their influence in new locations
With mounting cost and consolidation pressures, community hospitals need a new approach for handling the challenges of today’s health care environment. It is possible to remain independent—and thrive—as a community hospital. Here’s the key: community hospitals have a deep familiarity and long history with the communities they serve.
By leveraging this advantage, as well as strengthening strategic partnerships and building patient and provider loyalty, community hospitals can position themselves at the center of a care system that provides essential, sought-after services.
The bottom line is that community health facilities will continue to struggle—and ultimately become unsustainable—without a new approach. As a community hospital leader, how do you set a course of action that benefits both your hospital and the patients you serve?
In this sponsored white paper from athenahealth, you will learn how your community hospital can become a strong and thriving institution as we move into the future of value-based healthcare with these five steps:
1. Get control over your financials.
2. Build patient loyalty.
3. Prioritize high-return projects.
4. Improve provider loyalty and alignment.
5. Adjust to changing reimbursement models.