At the Margins

Our latest insight into health care margin improvement efforts

'Change is coming': 4 takeaways on the HHS secretary's vision for our industry

by Trevor Goldsmith March 22, 2018

"Change is possible, change is necessary, and change is coming."

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3 reasons the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 might signal bad news to come for providers

Trevor Goldsmith March 14, 2018

With the benefit of hindsight, the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 not only looks like the most significant health care legislation since 2015's MACRA—it also appears to validate the power of major advocacy organizations to push through incremental legislative change in an otherwise gridlocked political environment.

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The BPCI Advanced application period ends Monday. Should you apply?

Trevor Goldsmith March 7, 2018

In early January, CMS opened up the application period for Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced, the first new payment model to be proposed under the Trump administration.

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Quick poll: What are your top strategic challenges and priorities across 2018?

Eric Fontana , Robin Brand March 1, 2018

What's keeping you up at night? How to improve your patients' financial experience? Denials prevention and management? Payer contracting strategy?

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The promise—and pitfalls—of integrating corporate services

John Johnston, CPA, MHA February 22, 2018

The past few years have seen a frenzy of health system mergers, as providers look to consolidation as a means to get on solid strategic and financial ground for a very challenging future. But for many, while consolidation has often succeeded in bringing greater price leverage and buying power, the larger, hoped-for financial benefits have been elusive. According to a study of recent mergers and acquisitions, 59% of acquired hospitals failed to outperform their market peers two years after acquisition. Moreover, one in five acquired hospitals actually went from having positive margins before being acquired to negative margins two years after the acquisition.

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Want to improve your margin performance? We can help.

by Eric Fontana and Trevor Goldsmith February 8, 2018

Hospitals and health systems feeling margin pressures are not alone. Moody's recently predicted that not-for-profits health systems' operating cash flow will shrink by 2% to 4% over the next 18 months. Indeed, in an environment of rising costs and uncertain revenue growth, there are no shortage of reasons for flagging margins.

But although the cost and revenue challenges are industry wide, their exact impact can differ significantly from hospital to hospital. To define and implement an effective margin strategy, hospitals need to understand the root causes of their margin performance. 

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Considering a physician-office-based CDI program? Here's why you should.

by Eric Fontana and Jamie Landsman January 30, 2018

Few hospitals and health systems doubt the financial impact of effective inpatient clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs. The same principle—that providers must document and code both patient illness and care activities to ensure full payment and minimize audit or denial risk—holds in the physician-office setting as well.

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3 reasons hospitals can't afford to 'take their foot off the gas' on bundled payments

by Hunter Sinclair and Laurie Sprung January 22, 2018

Coming just a few weeks after CMS finalized its decision to roll back mandatory bundles, the agency's announcement of the BPCI Advanced voluntary bundled payment program has reenergized leaders committed to managing episodic costs.

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