South Florida Hospital News
Saturday November 25, 2017
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October 2015 - Volume 12 - Issue 4

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"It is not the destination, but the journey that matters." That statement by Sandra Foland, CEO of Baron Sign Manufacturing, describes the necessity for clean, clear, concise ADA/way finding signage. 

We have reached an exciting turning point in the care of patients with breast cancer. We continue to see the commitment of multiple charitable organizations supporting breast cancer research and the innovations in technology

For many seniors today, living independently and safely at home has become a main priority in their lives. But help is often still needed. As the aging population continues to grow,

For more than 20 years, Toral Law, a statewide personal injury law firm, has been helping its clients get their hospital bills reduced. But while working with patients suffering from brain and spinal cord injuries, 

When Carol and I first moved to South Florida in 2003 to start up South Florida Hospital News & Healthcare Report, we only had a general idea about the healthcare community we were hoping to join. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") published a final rule, effective February 3, 2015, that drastically expanded CMS's ability to revoke a provider's Medicare billing privileges ("Final Rule"). 

The healthcare industry has evolved over the years and the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, continually strives to improve healthcare delivery

 The use of illicit drugs has increased since 2007, according to a 2013 national survey. In addition to this, one of the major diagnostic companies has reported that the number of American workers testing positive for illicit drugs 

With the creation of health insurance exchanges, expansion of coverage, and potential tax penalties, Title I of the Affordable Care Act has received most of the local and national attention. 

Achieving Medicare profitability through strategic decision-making

 
As healthcare reform revolutionizes the payment model to include penalties for poor quality, bundled payments, and at-risk capitation reimbursement, providers must implement significant operational and organizational improvements to be profitable at Medicare reimbursement rates. Most providers will need to reduce expenses by 20% to 30% to break even. It sounds daunting, but there are three reliable strategies to get there:
1. Labor and Supply Chain Cost Reduction
Labor and supply chain represent over 70% of a hospital’s expense, and savings need to start here. The best way to gain labor efficiencies is redesigning work methods and processes, especially in patient and clinical services. Right-sizing staffing levels to match capacity, reducing clinical supply utilization, and implementing advanced contracting strategies can yield huge savings.
 
2. Clinical Performance Improvement
Care variation is a frequently untapped source of savings and is key to improving quality and safety for patients. Physicians should lead these efforts. Plus, improvement in any clinical area creates capacity and brings important new opportunities.
 
3. Service Line Rationalization and Right-Sizing
Your organization can’t offer every service line, which can be a startling realization for providers whose longstanding culture dictates they do everything for patients. Service line rationalization requires difficult decisions and significant physician alignment and leadership, but it can deliver double-digit savings.
 
Carson City Hospital achieved profitability under Medicare in less than two years by reducing staff, closing its mental health program and working with other hospitals to increase state reimbursement for OB patients. “I advise other hospital leaders to get aggressive in implementing change,” says CEO Matt Thompson, a Prism Healthcare Partners client. “Find an experienced partner with expertise and credibility, and be ready to accept their recommendations.”
 
The road to Medicare profitability is not easy, but it can be smoother for leaders who commit to making smart strategic decisions.
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