The top concern of hospital and health system executives is how to engage physicians in reducing clinical variation, according to The Advisory Board Company's Annual Health Care CEO Survey.
For the survey, the Advisory Board in December 2015 asked 209 C-suite executives about their degree of concern about 25 topics, from mergers and acquisitions to reducing drug costs. The questions were based on the firm's more than 10,000 annual research interviews with health care executives.
The survey found that the top areas of concern for hospital and health system executives were:
1. Engaging physicians in reducing clinical variation (53 percent)
2. Redesigning health system services for population health (52 percent)
3. Meeting increasing consumer expectations for service (47 percent)
4. Implementing patient engagement strategies (45 percent)
5. Controlling avoidable utilization (44 percent)
Meanwhile, 31 percent of respondents said they were extremely interested in developing consumer-focused pricing strategies to provide patients with accurate price estimates for services.
Compared with last year's survey, concern about controlling avoidable utilization and redesigning services for population health both increased by five percentage points, while concern about patient engagement strategies increased by four percentage points. Two concerns—strengthening primary care physician alignment and utilizing direct-to-employer contracting—fell from the list of the top five concerns.
Chas Roades, chief research officer at the Advisory Board, says the survey "shows that hospital and health system executives are embracing strategies like population health to help make shift from treating patients to preventing illness" (Lagasse, Healthcare IT News, 4/5; Rosin, Becker's Hospital Review, 4/4; Advisory Board release, 4/4; Advisory Board release, 3/2/15).
Two ways to identify clinical variation
How should you prioritize your opportunities to reduce care variation? Learn the two ways to examine variation and see examples of each approach.