Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Time in Years

I get asked regularly when the change will stop or slow down. We know change is inevitable. Certainly the challenge is changing in a sustainable fashion. How do we talk through the change so we are continuously ready for the potential unknowns?

Just recently, I read of several "first time" events or "first time in --- years:"

- In NFL news back in January, it was the "first time in 10 years" that both conference championships were decided by a touchdown or less

- In Colorado Springs: Commercial real estate values plunge for the "first time in 20 years"

- In Boston, "it was the first time (in 30 years) since 1980 that Boston Marathon qualifying times have changed.

And in North Carolina, the General Assembly reconvened in January with a new Republican leadership - the first Republican-controlled state legislature since 1898..."first time in over 100 years".

In our healthcare world, back in January, McDermott Will & Emory shared:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would reward hospitals for providing safe and high quality patient care. The proposed rule, required under Section 3001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, would provide higher payments to hospitals that perform well on certain quality measures relating to both clinical process and patient experience of care. The head of CMS, Donald Berwick, says the proposed rule would constitute “a huge leap forward in improving the quality and safety of America’s hospitals for both Medicare beneficiaries and all Americans.”

This program, known as the hospital inpatient value-based purchasing program, would apply to Medicare payments under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for inpatient stays in more than 3,000 acute care hospitals beginning in FY 2013 and applicable to payments for discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2012. The incentive payments to acute care hospitals would be based either on how well a hospital performs on certain quality measures or, alternatively, how much a hospital’s performance improves on certain quality measures from their performance during a baseline period. The higher a hospital’s performance or improvement during the performance period for a fiscal year, the higher the hospital’s value-based incentive payment for the fiscal year would be.

Without a doubt, things will continue to change. It could be days or many years. The key will be the way we work together towards impacting those changes. Certainly there will be times when we don't get it right and other times where it could not have been smoother. I am always impressed when groups get back together to work through ways it could be better when things don't work out the "planned" way. That is the future I predict - one that encourages constant dialogue on the possibilities with change - both good and bad - and the ways we plan on impacting and influencing our own destinies.

Have any "first time in years" stories you care to share?

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