Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Future is in Our Hands

Last night, President Obama discussed his plan to curb the growth of health care costs.

A few of his proposal points included: "Medicare and Medicaid Savings of $480 Billion by 2023 and At Least an Additional $1 Trillion over the Subsequent Decade, Providing Better Care at Lower Costs:

Building on the Affordable Care Act, the President is proposing additional reforms to Medicare and Medicaid designed to strengthen these critical programs by reducing waste, increasing accountability, promoting efficiency, and improving the quality of care, without shifting the cost of care to our seniors or people with disabilities.

The framework will save $340 billion over ten years and $480 billion by 2023 (including the proposals already included in the President’s Budget). Over the subsequent decade, the President’s proposal will save well over $1 trillion by further bending the cost curve, doubling the savings from the Affordable Care Act.

The President’s framework offers a stark contrast with the House Republican plan that would increase seniors’ health costs by $6,400 annually starting in 2022, raise health insurance premiums for middle-class Americans and small businesses, cut Federal Medicaid spending by one-third by the end of the decade, and increase the number of uninsured by 50 million.

Yes, the Medicare and Medicaid plan calls for saving $480 billion by 2023 - just 12 years away - and another $1 trillion the following decade. If we just estimate that savings across roughly 5,000+ hospitals, it comes to $8M improvement per hospital over the next 12 years for a cumulative savings of $96M/hospital by 2023.

We can do it as a healthcare industry. It will not be easy, however, as we leverage the knowledge we have within and across health systems, we will continue to improve our quality and safety efforts, enhance our patient experiences and reduce costs. How are we mining for ideas formally and informally? Certainly, formal ways need to exist to measure, manage and advance efforts. How are you informally getting those ideas from people closest to our patients? I still enjoy the high students who shared their brainstorming sessions:' - I hate it when... - I wish I could... Then, they prioritize based on the goals of their project and the estimated resources needed. Sounds simple yet it is something we could do even better in healthcare - the mindset of continuously improving even with fewer resources as we have already seen these past 20 years.

So, should the future of healthcare concern us? Of course. Our industry is very challenging and I am very positive about the future because it is in our hands to make the necessary changes needed within the resources provided. So let's continue to work together and learn from each other so we identify even the little things that we could change that will make a big cumulative impact in years out. What's one change you and your organization could make starting next week that would add value to your patients and further the organization's mission?

No comments:

Post a Comment