Healthcare Reform: Two Years In and Wondering

Healthcare Reform: Two Years In and Wondering

There’s no going back. While we wait and wonder about the upcoming Supreme Court decision in June, we all know healthcare is well on its way down a new path, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Some components of the plan are in the pipeline already, with certain patients receiving free mammograms, colonoscopies or flu shots; saving money on Medicare-covered prescriptions; and benefiting from extended coverage under their parents’ insurance policies.

But even as the major sticking point — the individual coverage mandate — is debated, other key initiatives are likely going to affect your healthcare landscape.

How prepared are you to adapt and change in the face of new cost structures, reimbursement alterations, and shifting patient relationships? Partnerships between physicians and hospitals — in the form of Accountable Care Organizations — may or may not be required, but may still end up as one of the top solutions to cost containment for a healthcare organization.

Three must-do steps for right now:

Thoroughly analyze your patient data. Healthcare networks have some of the most detailed data in the world. Break down the silos in your organization, share the information, and analyze it for a clear picture of your patients as you strategize short- and long-term plans for keeping them and finding more exactly like them.

Build predictive models to view optional footprints. The same patient analytics can help you determine exact addresses in which to place ambulatory facilities whether you’re a hospital system in a single market or a regional network of diverse service providers.

Strengthen your brand. Once you know your audience, target it with messages that will build loyalty. In a world of growing healthcare options for patients, the more loyalty you can build, the brighter your future will be no matter what gets legislated.