Healthcare, Behind the Scenes

Healthcare, Behind the Scenes

Change happens all the time in Hoosier healthcare. Each passing year brings new ideas and innovations to the industry, introducing trends that reshape the way patients receive treatment across the state. It’s common to catch headlines about new facilities, technologies, and methods as we scan the news, but we don’t always get a look at the way these developments impact hospital administration and the business side of healthcare. So, to learn more, we reached out to the experts.

Over the past few months, Building Indiana has been corresponding with hospital executives from facilities all over the state with one question: How has the business model of Indiana healthcare evolved alongside trends like technological innovations, subsidized insurance, increased rural facility access, and/or others?

We learned a great deal about how healthcare leaders have had to modify their strategies to continually meet consumer demands. Check out what the experts had to say.


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Tasha Eicher, CEO, DeKalb Health

Dennis Murphy, President, CEO, Indiana University Health

Kevin P. Speer, President, CEO, Hendricks Regional Health

Dr. James Porter, President, Deaconess Health System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vincent L. Sevier, Vice President, Chief Quality Officer, Methodist Hospitals

Donald P. Fesko, President, CEO, Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc.

Dean Mazzoni, President, CEO, Franciscan Health Michigan City

Ashley Dickinson, CEO, La Porte Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ashley Dickinson, CEO, La Porte Hospital

Ashley Dickinson, CEO, Laporte Hospital

As healthcare evolves from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-value model, the primary incentive is to provide high quality care to improve patient outcomes, which in turn continually raises the bar on quality measures. This drives health systems to adopt sophisticated systems of continuous self-improvement.

As quality improves and technology advances, hospital stays become shorter and more healthcare can be delivered on an outpatient basis. This isn’t a bad thing; it drives health systems to operate outpatient centers, which improves access to healthcare in neighborhoods and communities.

Seeking the appropriate level of care (outpatient versus inpatient) also contributes to driving down the cost of healthcare overall, which helps make healthcare more affordable for those who are on high-deductible plans with out-of-pocket costs. As a result, we will continue to see an increase in outpatient visits versus inpatient hospital stays, though there will always be a need for acute care.

Hospitals who are building new inpatient facilities are focusing on creating lean, highly-efficient facilities with flexible-use spaces that can accommodate surges in census and growth. By moving services that can be provided on an outpatient basis to outpatient locations, new hospitals (like the new La Porte Hospital that will open in 2020) are micro-focused on meeting their community’s specific acute care needs.

 

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Tasha Eicher, CEO, DeKalb Health

Tasha Eicher, CEO, DeKalb Health

Being in rural healthcare, we’re limited in some of the modalities we can offer as compared to larger system hospitals. That’s why strong partnerships have been so important for DeKalb Health. Our goal is to make healthcare more convenient for the consumer, so expanding access in specialty care and primary care enable us to serve our local community better.

These days, healthcare is patient-centric; all about access and consumerism. Rather than patients having to travel for their treatment, we’re building partnerships to bring that treatment to them here. This gives greater accessibility to the variety of care they need, and it’s also a benefit for our hospital because patients will not be leaving the community to seek care.

In addition to these partnerships, we’ve prioritized communication and continuity of care. DeKalb Health has been in the process of implementing a new electronic health records (EHR) system, system-wide. This technology has enabled our primary care physicians and specialist partners to keep everything seamless and more efficient. Long gone are the days of faxing documents and hoping the doctors see the notations. Patients will have personal and family health information at their fingertips and will be more involved in managing their health.

Another way we’ve been able to deliver more convenience for patients is by establishing primary care clinics throughout the community, and a walk–in clinic that offers evening, extended hours and weekend care. Our mission is to have convenient options available to patients closer to home and easier to visit; all of which goes back to a patient-centric pro-consumer model of healthcare delivery.

 

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Donald P. Fesko, President, CEO, Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc.

Donald P. Fesko, President, CEO, Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc.

The future of healthcare is an integrated healthcare community that focuses on education and prevention and provides extensive outpatient care to keep its members well. The hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital, Munster; St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart, are taking a proactive stance, focusing on disease management and prevention.

Population Health Management is an approach that aims to improve the health of everyone: from patients with advanced chronic conditions to patients with health concerns that are being managed as well as healthy populations. Tools such as care coordination and patient engagement are being used to target these various populations. For example, Care Navigators provide in person and electronic communication to patients for improved coordination of care. Patients are able to get answers regarding their disease process and gain a better understanding of testing and treatment options.  In addition to offering support and guidance, navigators provide education on health maintenance for optimum quality of life.

Patients can take an active role in their healthcare by accessing their health information through secured online sources such as MyChart where they can view test results, make an appointment or communicate with their physician. This increased information sharing leads to better outcomes and a healthier community.

 

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Dean Mazzoni, President, CEO, Franciscan Health Michigan City

Dean Mazzoni, President, CEO, Franciscan Health Michigan City

As advancements are made in pharmaceuticals, implantable devices, and diagnostic imaging, more care is appropriately being delivered to patients in outpatient settings. This will require providers to reconsider their age-old model with hospitals at the center of the care continuum.

As we near completion of our new Franciscan Health hospital in Michigan City, we have been purposeful in our efforts to right-size the facility, with distinct access points for outpatients and minimal travel for services.

At Franciscan Health, we are working to provide improved access and convenience to our patients. Whether through telemedicine, conveniently located urgent care centers, or an expanded network of primary care providers, we want to make it easy for patients to find the care they need when they need it.

The internet and direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing have greatly increased access for patients to medical information. As a result, patients are behaving as informed consumers in their care, rather than as passive recipients.

Through online information portals such as MyChart, Franciscan Health patients can partner with us to learn, communicate, access information and manage their care. Empowering patients and supporting their proactive pursuit of information and control leads to better outcomes and more satisfied patients.”

 

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Dennis Murphy, President, CEO, Indiana University Health

Dennis Murphy, President, CEO, Indiana University Health

Transformative times in healthcare are driving fundamental changes at Indiana University Health, from the design of hospitals to customized care provided to each patient.  Driving the changes are the digital revolution, consumerism and cost-reduction pressures from payers and government.

As the state’s largest healthcare system and only academic health center, IU Health strives to be on the forefront of delivering the best care for patients, no matter the challenges. IU Health’s solutions include:

  • Bringing leading-edge technology and methods of care to Indiana through over $2 billion in hospital capital improvements over the next eight years, including a replacement Bloomington Hospital, expansions at West and North hospitals, and a combined Methodist and University hospital in downtown Indianapolis, with maternity services consolidating at Riley Hospital for Children.
  • Making healthcare more convenient and accessible by opening care facilities closer to patients’ work and homes and adding options such as telemedicine, same-day appointments and transparent pricing.
  • Working with partners to build robust population health programs to address the state’s most pressing healthcare concerns such as high rates of tobacco use, infant mortality and opioid abuse.
  • Using technology and best practices to enhance care and achieve better patient outcomes. “Harm incidents,” such as in-hospital falls and hospital-acquired infections have been significantly reduced over the last two years.
  • Turning to Lean and other operational efficiency measures to improve care delivery and control costs. Savings exceed $100 million through Lean streamlining over just the past several years.

Through a unique partnership with IU School of Medicine and the talents of our 35,000 team members, IU Health is committed to seeing marked improvement in the health of Hoosiers across the state.

 

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Dr. James Porter, President, Deaconess Health System

Dr. James Porter, President, Deaconess Health System

Like many other industries, healthcare is transforming to meet the needs of an increasingly tech-savvy, consumer-minded clientele.  People want and expect technologically-enabled, convenient access to quality, affordable care. For healthcare delivery systems, this is occurring simultaneously against the backdrop of an aging population of Baby Boomers who require more traditional high-touch, relationship-based care, especially as they develop more chronic conditions.

Deaconess is using technology to improve quality and safety, which drives better outcomes. We are also using technology to promote access and convenience through options like video visits, online self-scheduling, telemedicine and patient portals to our electronic medical record. All of this comes at a cost, which must be offset in order to slow the pace of healthcare inflation, so we are also participating in programs like Accountable Care Organizations. ACOs focus on reducing wasteful spending through better care coordination and eliminating unnecessary variations in care.  ACOs like our OneCare Collaborative also allow us to partner with healthcare providers in smaller communities through telemedicine and regional outreach. In doing so, we optimize their capabilities and advance our objective to provide the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.

 

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Dr. Vincent L. Sevier, Vice President, Chief Quality Officer, Methodist Hospitals

Dr. Vincent L. Sevier, Vice President, Chief Quality Officer, Methodist Hospitals

Healthcare organizations are evolving to meet the challenges of a new patient care model. That model is a shift from fee for service to value-based care. Our goal in meeting this challenge is to improve the value of care we provide to patients by improving outcomes, and the patient experience while controlling costs.

The traditional business practices are encountering pressure from a changing reimbursement model that rewards performance. Organizations are seeing a reduction in reimbursement. The challenge of providing quality care in an environment where revenue is changing pushes organizations to seek out partnerships or strategic affiliations.

I believe there is a lot of innovation in the industry in an effort to reduce costs. There will continue to be mergers, joint ventures and partnerships as organizations seek to achieve size, market share and the resources to deliver on managing populations of patients.

Though cost containment is important in new care models, strategic investment in growth is important as well. So, we continue to observe an expansion into outpatient care areas in the community moving away from most care being provided in the hospital or acute setting. Patients value convenience and quality care delivered in their community and organizations are working to meet that need.

I believe value-based care is here to stay. Innovation is rapidly changing our industry, and I think patients will benefit from the evolution.

 

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Kevin P. Speer, President, CEO, Hendricks Regional Health

Kevin P. Speer, President, CEO, Hendricks Regional Health

If there is one constant in healthcare, it’s that it will change. While the rising cost of health insurance is not new, the innovative solutions created by today’s business leaders and forward-thinking health systems are evolving our industry. The trend of partnering with employers to build a culture of wellness within their organizations is helping reduce costs, preserve strong benefit structures and enhance care.

As just one example, health systems and employers can collaborate to offer employees access to a shared, tiered network. Redesigning health plans to encourage the use of high-quality, higher-value providers in a shared network has many advantages, especially when it’s built around primary care access. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that those who switched to a tiered network spent considerably less on healthcare, with spending falling by almost 40 percent for the average consumer. This reduction was credited to patients spending less on specialists and emergency rooms.

Another example of the positive synergy that can come from employer relationships is the creation of tailor-made wellness programs and preventative health strategies. Out-of-the-box thinking for promoting healthy behavior change among employees is a key driver for success both now and in the future.

 

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All photos were provided by their respective institutions.

Category Features, Pro Voices