Editorial: Healthcare Transformation 2.0

Visit our Transformation  Hub, a Modern Healthcare channel for coverage on how leading healthcare systems have pursued healthcare transformation.

Dr. Edmondo Robinson, chief transformation officer at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware, is not letting uncertainty regarding the future of health policy in the nation’s capital slow the pace of new ideas being tested at his system.

“In this environment, we just have to understand that we have to work faster and better,” he said the same day that Senate Republicans pulled the plug on a vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Propelled by the current law’s central mission to improve patient satisfaction and lower healthcare costs, systems like Christiana Care set out to rethink the way it delivers care to a high volume of newly insured patients.

Christiana Care touts a team-based primary-care initiative as one of its most successful recent innovations. Pairing a primary-care physician with a registered nurse, two medical assistants and a nurse practitioner or a resident physician has led to better management of chronic conditions and reduced reliance on the emergency department. And while such efforts lower costs, they also hit providers in their pocketbooks.

Health Affairs published a study in September examining data from nearly 1,000 primary-care practices that implemented population health efforts. It found that despite lowering overhead costs, annual net income surplus fell by $42,398 per physician at those practices. The authors of the study claim that capitated models are needed to give providers an incentive to fully shift away from fee-for-service. They found that at least 63% of primary-care patients would have to come under a capitation model in order to survive. Modern Healthcare’s Virgil Dickson reported on the success of those multipayer models in the Sept. 18 issue.

Continuing to shift away from fee-for-service models could help healthcare leaders make decisions about what kind of innovations to put in place.

More and more of you are faced with the reality that you can’t grow and you may not be able to fulfill your own missions without answering the call to change. Innovation no longer is a novelty; it’s a necessity.

Last year, Modern Healthcare launched the Transformation Hub, shortly after crafting a mission statement that re-established our commitment to providing industry leaders with news, events and data that advance higher-quality, lower-cost and patient-centered care. This section of our website was developed in partnership with Avia, a consultancy that helps hospitals focus on innovation and find startup partners.

Since then, the Transformation Hub has published more than 100 stories that have highlighted the problems facing providers. We have showcased systems that were empowering entrepreneurial staff to solve their own problems and making a profit from those ideas through venture capital projects.

In the past year, we’ve realized that the strides we’ve made in promoting innovations and best practices also need to evolve. So we’ve revamped the Transformation Hub and added partners.

The Health Care Transformation Task Force was drawn to the Transformation Hub because it reflects its own mission. The consortium has representatives of the most forward-thinking organizations in the industry and is made up of providers, payers and vendors.

You’ll notice we’ve made the navigation of the Transformation Hub more intuitive, with simple and direct categories: Patients, Care Delivery, Payment and Operations. One of the Transformation Hub’s forthcoming goals is to truly become a hub to discuss problems and solutions. In the next few months, we’ll roll out some new features meant to engage you in dialogue with your colleagues. We’ll also convene a panel of industry experts, specialists in innovation, to keep us informed of trends and news.

Modern Healthcare understands it is of service to our audience and we hope this is just one of the ways we can continue to connect with you. We invite all of you to pitch your stories and ideas for consideration. You can send me a note at aaguilar@modernhealthcare.com or Managing Editor Matt Weinstock at mweinstock@modernhealthcare.com. We hope to hear from you.