Perspectives on the Acute Care Continuum

The Acute Care Continuum is the integration of urgent, emergent, inpatient and post-discharge care of patients with acute medical conditions.

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​Some say consumers have lost trust in our healthcare system. However, a recent antitrust ruling in Idaho may hold the key to regaining some of that confidence — and curbing the unintended consequences of reform.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

In preparation for healthcare reform and the shift toward value-based reimbursement, hospitals have been scrambling to buy physician groups.
 
Their oft-stated rationale: employing physicians equates to physician integration, which will promote better quality, greater efficiency and less error and waste. Ultimately, this arrangement means better care and lower costs for consumers. It will also allow hospitals to benefit from new value-based reimbursement schemes.
 
Sounds logical, right? Well, Idaho's Federal District Court isn't quite buying it. Read More...
10/16/2014 5:56:48 PM | 3 comments

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My pediatrician made house calls. I always knew when I heard the pan of water being placed on the stove that a needle was being sterilized and an injection was coming. He knew that I was a gymnast and that my brother was on the swim team, and frequently asked how we were doing in competition.

What I just described was commonplace in the 1950s and 1960s. To me, those were the "good old days" when the doctor actually knew me. And he was my doctor in the hospital, outside the hospital and even in the emergency room! He called the surgeon, orthopedist or urologist and facilitated the specialized care I needed.

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9/9/2014 10:03:35 AM | 3 comments

On my first day of medical school, during introductory lectures, the dean said something that seemed a little radical:

"At least 50 percent of everything we teach you in the next four years is going to be proven wrong at some point in the future. The only problem is, we don't know which 50 percent that is."

Those words are particularly salient today as our system begins its shaky transition away from fee-for-service toward population health management. Today's physicians must adapt and evolve not only clinically, but in the realm of care delivery as well.

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8/28/2014 8:00:15 PM | 0 comments

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, there's been an incredible amount of discussion among the CEOs of large hospital systems about the importance of integrating physicians into their organizations.

Specifically, leaders hope that aligning their organizations with a broad physician network will allow them to take advantage of the transition from a fee-for-service reimbursement system to one based on value. Other potential incentives for alignment include the possibility of bundled payments and population health incentives — first from Medicare and potentially, as seems likely, from private payers as well.

Many physician groups have responded to this trend by diversifying their service lines, forming larger multispecialty groups. In doing so, these practices seek to align themselves with hospitals that are striving to improve care coordination, while meeting the requirements of modern healthcare reform.

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7/3/2014 9:26:54 PM | 0 comments

Leadership in the healthcare industry during the next three years: Insights from the Oliver Wyman Healthcare CEO Survey 2014

Last Tuesday on Perspectives, Ted Schwab reported on the results of Oliver Wyman's recent survey of health system C-suite executives. Today his analysis continues with five more fascinating predictions from industry leaders.

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5/7/2014 2:25:48 PM | 0 comments
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