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Posted June 01, 2011

Maximize Outcomes in a Transparent World

By Quint Studer

We all know healthcare faces major challenges. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be tying reimbursement to HCAHPS results, core measures, hospital-acquired conditions, readmissions, and an ever-growing list of other issues. What's more, the amount of reimbursement at risk will also increase in the years to come. At the same time, managed care organizations have jumped on the reimbursement bandwagon, putting their own unique spin on health reform.

In other words, we face rapid escalation in downward reimbursement pressure, and at the same time, ever increasing costs. It's a tough time for our industry—but we have faced tougher changes before. We succeeded then. We will succeed now.

Right now, and as more changes are phased in over the coming months, the most effective leaders will be moving to integrate the realities of health reform legislation and the related regulatory standards into their operations. As our entire industry continues to strive to achieve excellence in this age of increased transparency- and quality-driven initiatives, we will have to move quickly.

The changes we need to make are highly complex. And because they virtually all impact reimbursement (government and insurance), they're all connected to an organization's survival. That means a) they all need to be implemented, standardized, and perfected as soon as possible, and b) we can't afford inconsistency in the process.

The key is to make these changes in the context of Evidence-Based LeadershipSM (EBL). We know through our work with many healthcare organizations that when proven strategies and tactics are put in place, and in the right order, the changes that lead to the needed results can happen quickly. They build on each other; one leads naturally to the next.

That being said, the smart thing to do is to adopt solutions that others—those who operate on an EBL foundation—have already identified and perfected.

Studer Group's What's Right in Health Care® (WRIHC) conference helps attendees do exactly that. This is a valuable opportunity to learn at just one conference what many "best-in-class" organizations have done to position themselves for success in the health reform era—practices proven to improve the outcomes necessary for meeting the new requirements we all face.

Each year we feature organizations that demonstrate "best-in-class" performance. They offer replicable tactics attendees can take home and immediately implement. The sessions deliver on ways attendees can improve on vital metrics related to HCAHPS, core measures, hospital-acquired conditions, preventable readmissions, the emergency department (both flow and clinical performance), physician alignment, steps for bundling and ACO preparation, and others.

Not only does this conference allow you to discover what others are doing to achieve objective clinical, patient perception, and financial results, it's a good opportunity to hear high-profile keynote speakers share their perspectives on the future.

WRIHC is one of the largest collaborative peer-to-peer learning conferences in the nation. It has been a popular event because it allows attendees to benchmark themselves against proven best practices. But now, due to the complexity of the changes organizations need to make, the tight time frame in which they must happen, and the connection to reimbursement, replicating what others have perfected is a necessity.

Innovation is great. Imitation is even better—and faster. I urge industry leaders at all levels to join their peers at What's Right in Health Care and maximize your ability to achieve and sustain clinical, service, and operational excellence.

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