At the Helm

Insights for the C-suite

Why Sentara's CEO is 'psyched' about its soon-to-launch 'digital front door'—and where he's taking the $6.3B system next

by Eric Larsen, President, larsene@advisory.com May 10, 2019

Welcome to the "Lessons from the C-suite" series, featuring Advisory Board President Eric Larsen's conversations with the most influential leaders in health care.

In this edition, Howard Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare, describes Sentara's award-winning approach to spreading best practices throughout its system, previews its new "digital front door" that will transform how patients interact with the health system, and reveals how Sentara has turned Medicaid managed care into a successful business.

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From 'what if' to 'let's go': How Lloyd Dean and Kevin Lofton built a $29B system—and where they're going next

by Eric Larsen, President, larsene@advisory.com May 2, 2019

Welcome to the "Lessons from the C-suite" series, featuring Advisory Board President Eric Larsen's conversations with the most influential leaders in health care.

In this edition, CommonSpirit Health CEOs Lloyd Dean and Kevin Lofton talk about how they moved the Dignity Health-CHI merger from "what if" to "let's go," why they don't consider themselves "co-CEOs," and how they plan to "set the trend" for health care in America.

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Why most systems struggle with systemness

David Willis April 17, 2019

In my last two blog posts, I've explored two related themes. First, there's a growing body of evidence that M&A is dilutive, not accretive, to margins. And second, many health systems are "SINOs" (Systems in Name Only), functioning more as a confederation of individual parts than as a unified entity.

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Are you a SINO ('System In Name Only')? Why so many health systems get 'systemness' wrong.

David Willis March 29, 2019

As hospital operating expenses keep outpacing operating revenue growth, many are facing an impending margin crisis. Indeed, Advisory Board's modeling shows that, absent any intervention, margins could become negative for the average system before 2021.

To reverse this course, it's clear that hospitals and health systems need to make big changes now. Today, I want to talk about one part of the solution: harnessing the power of systemness.

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Don't call THR a 'hospital system': Inside CEO Barclay Berdan's vision for health care's future

by Eric Larsen, President, larsene@advisory.com March 25, 2019

Welcome to the "Lessons from the C-suite" series, featuring Advisory Board President Eric Larsen's conversations with the most influential leaders in health care.

In this edition, Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources talks about about the "unprecedented challenge" he faced just a few months into the job, why he won't call THR a "hospital system," and how he helped establish the world's largest Blue Zones community—in Fort Worth.

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Is your CMS star rating wrong? Here’s what hospitals need to know.

Jennifer Stewart March 7, 2019

It's a truism that "we manage what we measure"—but for hospital leaders who want to "manage" their hospital's CMS star rating, it's been hard to know exactly what's being "measured" in the first place. The rating process, first established in 2016, has been largely opaque to providers. And for a system that's naturally going to attract skepticism, as any system picking "winners" and "losers" among hospitals would do, that opacity been a source of major controversy.

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'A little bit of a pirate': How Kelby Krabbenhoft built a $6B system—and where he's taking Sanford next

by Eric Larsen, Managing Partner, larsene@advisory.com February 25, 2019

Welcome to the "Lessons from the C-suite" series, featuring Managing Partner Eric Larsen's conversations with the most influential leaders in health care.

In this edition, Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, talks about the unprecedented CEO-philanthropist partnership behind Sanford's rapid growth, why a successful leader needs to be "a little bit of a pirate," and the merger that will make Sanford a nearly $6 billion health system. 

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CMS predicts US will spend $6T on health care by 2027. Here's what you need to know.

Yulan Egan February 22, 2019

On February 20th, CMS' Office of the Actuary released its annual projections for national health expenditures across the next decade. Highlights from the report include the following projections:

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