With all of the uncertainty about changing health policy and the ACA, it is easy to get distracted. But those distractions hide a deeper truth: many changes are inevitable.

It is critical that you not lose sight of the evolution required of your organization and its physicians if you are to successfully address those changes. In HSG’s work with employed networks we find that physicians intuitively understand some of these issues. For example, physicians know they must adopt data-driven best practices and they know they must manage outcomes across the continuum. And they know physician leaders must drive some of these changes.

So what are those inevitable trends that you must embrace to be successful?

1. Data will get better and more comprehensive, and, slowly, your organization’s capabilities in mining that data will grow. Data investments, requirements to submit data and tying that data to payments will not go away.

2. With data will come accountability. Accountability is not a Democratic or Republican value, but something people on both sides of the aisle see as essential to sustaining healthcare. Get used to it and embrace it.

3. Insurance markets will be turbulent. That has been the biggest problem with the ACA and is likely to continue under the reform efforts underway. And with turbulence comes a push toward lower risk for insurers, through higher deductibles and higher rates. This turbulence creates an opportunity for providers to work directly with employers, an opportunity you should seize.

4. Complexities in the market will continue to drive physicians to consolidate. Legislation like MACRA will inevitably outstrip the management capabilities of small practices, forcing doctors to join forces with hospital-owned groups or larger independent groups. Building your capabilities to manage these groups remains a priority.

5. Physicians leaders will grow in importance. And the ability to deliver care with dependable quality and cost will grow in value. Having leaders who can help drive the agenda and shape the culture will be of increasing value.

6. Outpatient services will continue to grow in importance. Creating patient-friendly services that are reliable and easy to use will be a competitive advantage for all non-quaternary facilities.

These realities will require your continued focus, no matter what health policy the US implements. HSG helps many clients lay the groundwork for these efforts, through our physician strategy work, our engagements that focus on building shared vision with physicians, and our strategic plans for employed networks.

To discuss how we can help your organization, contact David Miller, Managing Partner, at (502) 814-1188 or DMiller@HSGadvisors.com.

David W. Miller

Founder and Chairman