Watchful, Prepared Waiting Can Equip Healthcare Companies for Reform

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Not sure how healthcare reform will impact your organization? Understanding the ‘moving parts’ of reform and walking through what-if scenarios can help healthcare organizations prepare for major changes in the industry that will likely hit this fall, advises Dr. Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. “One, I think you have to be knowledgeable about the various moving parts of this. We can’t be caught by surprise,” he states. “I appreciate questions about episode-based payments and comparative effectiveness because I find that most people really don’t understand the concepts.”

Second, Keckley continues, “We have to begin doing scenario plans in our organizations, creating a set of “what ifs” and actually plugging in real numbers. An example would be in my prior role at Vanderbilt [as executive director of the Vanderbilt Center for Evidence-based Medicine]. If we were looking out five years in our capital expenditure budgets, I would be revisiting those. I would be revisiting how I deploy my capital for facilities versus infrastructure, inpatient versus my network of community-based providers.

“We are going to know what [reform] looks like in the early fall,” Keckley stated during a recent mid-year analysis of healthcare trends. “At that point everyone has to be in a position to act. Between now and then it is, it is beyond watchful waiting. I think it is watchful, prepared waiting.”

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