Impact Insights

Week in Review 1/16/15

“Financial challenges” were the biggest concern for hospital CEOs in 2014, according to the annual survey from the American College of Healthcare Executives. “Healthcare reform implementation” and “government mandates” were tied for second, followed closely by “patient safety and quality.” When asked about specific concerns related to “financial challenges,” CEOs’ top response was Medicaid reimbursement (cited by 69% of respondents) followed by bad debt (67%). Within the category of “healthcare reform implementation,” CEOs were most concerned about reducing operating costs (78%), the shift to value-based purchasing (66%), and alignment of provider and payor incentives (65%). The primary concern within “government mandates” was CMS audits (80%), followed by implementation of ICD-10 (68%), and CMS regulations (64%).

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: CIOs are typically the respondent in surveys that get the majority of news coverage (studies about hospital adoption of IT, EHR purchasing plans, opinions about vendors, etc.). This particular survey is interesting because respondents are hospital CEOs, who are likely to have a slightly different perspective than CIOs due to inherent differences between the two roles, responsibilities, and day-to-day activities. 



An essay in the Wall Street Journal predicts the “medicalized smartphone is going to upend every aspect of health care.” Written by Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, the article cites the increasing number of ways we will be able to capture personal health information in the near future due to advances in devices, apps, and sensors. According to Topol, the “real revolution” though will come when individual data can be combined and analyzed in the cloud. Topol acknowledges current challenges such as the fact that “too little” has been done to protect privacy and that healthcare is “pathetic at data analytics,” but says both problems “can be managed” with enough work. 

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: An interesting article from a well-respected industry figure. (Plus, it is always newsworthy when a national outlet like the WSJ publishes something related to healthcare IT.) In terms of the challenges cited though, Impact Advisors worries that problems related to 1) protecting patient privacy and 2) realizing value from analytics will actually be even harder to manage in the future if the volume of data captured by phones and other devices grows too rapidly. Additionally, getting patients to actually use new apps and sensors with enough regularity to make that data meaningful is likely to be a much bigger challenge than many expect.



Becker’s Hospital Review has published “715 things to know about healthcare.” The new list is actually a compilation of previous lists, such as “50 things to know about EHRs” and “75 things to know about accountable care organizations.”

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: We are admittedly big fans of Becker’s ongoing “Things to Know” series, but it is great to see them now all in one place. Highly recommended for the bookmarks folder!