Uncertain revenue outlook causing top executives to lose sleep

Making the transition to value-based reimbursement is the top challenge facing healthcare providers today, according to a new survey of C-suite executives by research firm peer60.

The report, Into the Minds of the C-Suite, shows that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the healthcare executives identify “managing the switch to value-based reimbursement models” as the primary challenge their organizations need to address.

“Discussing revenue in the same sentence with uncertainty is like mixing oil and water, and is causing top executives within provider organizations to lose sleep,” write co-authors Chris Jensen and Taylor Madsen.

Other top concerns cited by the C-level executives from 320 hospitals across the U.S. include:

  • Coordinating care – 56%

  • Managing patient populations – 54%

  • Patient engagement – 48%

  • Shortages of physicians and nurses – 47%

  • Managing data – 36%

When breaking out responses by hospital size, however, the picture changes. CEOs and CIOs of the largest hospitals (more than 1,000 beds) listed “improving information security” and “mergers and acquisitions” (M&A) as their biggest challenges, while they rated moving to a value-based payment model and clinician shortages near the bottom of that list.

“Improvements to information security is a high-level concern among large hospitals,” the peer60 report says. “Plain and simple, the larger the facility, the more protected health information (PHI) they have, and hence larger the target to identity thieves.”

Large facilities are more preoccupied with M&A activity because it’s a constant possibility, the survey shows. Two-thirds of respondents from the largest hospitals indicated their facilities are planning or would consider M&A activity. More than half of respondents in every other size category said they aren’t currently planning or considering a merger or acquisition.

At the other end of the spectrum, small hospitals (25 beds or less) are most concerned about getting a “meaningful ROI on IT purchases” and shortages of doctors and nurses, while being less concerned about IT security, mergers and acquisitions, and “reducing hospital-acquired infections,” the survey shows.

“Clearly, vendors have work to do in developing their solutions to truly scale to the needs of hospitals and in providing best practices in the use of their solutions, specifically the cost imposed on smaller facilities,” the study author’s write.

Only respondents from mid-sized hospitals (101-250 beds) put value-based reimbursement at the top of the list of challenges, followed by reducing hospital-acquired infections and M&A activity.

Viewing responses by job title also reflects different perspectives on the challenges facing hospitals. The CEOs surveyed rated the change to value-based reimbursements and physician/nurse shortages as the top challenges, while for responding CFOs it was regulatory compliance, managing data, and clinician shortages. Improving data security was by far the top challenge of responding hospital CIOs.

The “quick report” version of the peer60 survey can be found here

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