- California: Despite uncertainty about the future of value-based health care models under the Trump administration, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson said Kaiser will continue its investment in value-based care. Just last week, Kaiser got approval from Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to acquire the Seattle-based managed care plan Group Health Cooperative. The deal, first announced in December 2015, brings Kaiser's business model—a value-based model that combines hospitals, physicians, and a health insurance plan—into its eighth market and increases its plan membership by about 6 percent. "At the end of the day, people are demanding value and people want more transparency about what's going on with the cost of care and the value that they are getting with the health care system around the country. That's going to continue," Tyson said (Livingston, Modern Healthcare, 1/18).
- Colorado: Lawmakers in the state are considering a bill, called the Patient Safety Act, that would require certain medical professionals to undergo fingerprint-based background checks before becoming licensed. The state is one of just six in the country that does not currently require fingerprint background checks for physicians, and it's one of five that exempts nurses. Under the bill—which garnered initial support from the Colorado Medical Society and Colorado Nurses Association—physicians, nurses, physician assistants, dentists, anesthesiologists, and others who can prescribe drugs would have to pay for fingerprint background checks that would be made available to licensing boards. The measure would not apply to behavioral health providers, who are licensed under a separate set of Colorado statutes (Sealover, Denver Business Journal, 1/18).
- Michigan: Spectrum Health on Wednesday received the 2016 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. The prize—sponsored by the Baxter International Foundation, American Hospital Association, and Health Research & Educational Trust—recognizes Spectrum's efforts to care for underserved residents in Western Michigan. Spectrum Health's community service arm, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, focuses on maternal and infant health, children's health, and the prevention and management of chronic conditions. John O'Brien, who chairs the prize committee, said, "Through impactful alliances with community organizations, Spectrum Health has shown incredible perseverance, patience and a vision to dramatically improve the health of individuals in their communities and reduce health care costs" (AHA News, 1/18; Hospitals & Health Networks, 1/19).
Building the hospital of the future
The fundamental assumptions underpinning traditional acute care strategy are becoming increasingly weaker—which means current hospitals aren't suitable for future market demands.
To achieve acute care sustainability, organizations have to shift focus from labor, supply cost, and clinical variation to the challenge with the greatest savings potential: fixed costs. This white paper shares tactics for significantly restructuring fixed costs by reallocating services across the system and rightsizing excess inpatient capacity.