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Should Healthcare Organizations Transform

Should Healthcare Organizations Transform

By Joe Mott, Vice President, Healthcare Transformation

Feb 23, 2015

Updated Oct 25, 2023

5 min read

Clinician with Tablet

The whole healthcare world has been a buzz for a few years now with the notion of “transformation.” Ground swells were emerging around the country by the time the PPACA was signed into law in March of 2010. And then the floodgates burst open and organizations began a stampede into a new world of ACOs, Population Health, and Pay for Value. But then again, many have chosen to not jump onto the bandwagon and have continued to chart their course in the Fee for Service world. Which strategy is right?

The answer is found hanging on the wall in your board room – your mission statement. Why does your organization exist? After spending an afternoon pondering that question, the direction you should pursue should be readily apparent. But from comments I’ve heard from executives across the country, not everyone has yet spent an afternoon considering their mission.

Many have jumped headlong into the transformation world for reasons that may not have the power to sustain the course. Some are sailing into unchartered waters merely because they worry “they will be left behind,” or are being “pressured by the market,” or to “get their physicians to the table.” While such reasons may indeed compel an organization to action, they seem less than strategic and perhaps a bit dangerous. This transformation business is high stake stuff and signing risk contracts puts the organization, well, at risk! So organizations better be prepared and have good reason to embark on dramatic changes. 

Some organizations have adopted a transformation strategy as a calculated opportunity to increase market share or revenue. For these organizations, the change is more about adopting a new revenue model than it is about transforming care.

Real transformation is about fundamental change. It’s not incremental and it’s not subtle. It’s big. And the big changes we need are envisioned in the Triple Aim – better health, better healthcare, and affordable costs. These things will not happen by organizations nibbling on the edges of their business model or engaging in a defensive strategy. It will take a fundamental change in how we approach the delivery of healthcare with a true commitment to value for those we serve. 

We have to bend the cost curve. Relatively few organizations, Intermountain being one of them, have acknowledged that reducing the rate of healthcare spending will result in less revenue to them! Our mission drives us to provide the highest value of care to the community we can and we believe that will result in the community spending less on healthcare.

So, yes; healthcare organizations not only should, they must transform themselves. But real transformation will be achieved only by those organizations that start with an uncompromising commitment to improving value to the community. I pin my hopes for the future of healthcare on them.