Community leadership, quality and safety, transparency—leaders offer their hopes and predictions for the future of the healthcare delivery system and anticipate the challenges ahead.
Three leaders on the future of healthcare delivery
Rick Pollack President and CEO American Hospital Association
I see an America in which every single American has coverage for healthcare, where no American lives in fear of being bankrupted by the cost of illness or injury. I see an America in which patients have their care coordinated so they're not bounced around from one unconnected facility to the next. I see an America in which our payment systems between physicians and hospitals and other providers are aligned so there's a focus on wellness and prevention. I see an America in which hospitals continue to play a leadership role but are closer to their communities.
Even under the best scenario with the Affordable Care Act after 10 years, 23 million people will still be left uninsured.
The other big challenge we face is finding new care models for the future. What are the new models that ensure hospitals can continue to provide a leadership role in their community in serving as an access point? And what are the new configurations that should occur so that they can do it in an efficient way that is most responsive to community needs?
Dr. Tejal Gandhi President and CEO National Patient Safety Foundation
Moving forward 10 or 20 years, I think quality and safety will be even more integral to how we deliver care. It will be part of the training for all clinicians going into healthcare, and it will also be part of how we get reimbursed for the work that we do. And I think there will be more transparency around quality and safety that will be available to the general public and to patients.
One thing that could get in our way is the lack of measures that are valid, and also too many measures. I think we're really going to have to do a better job of thinking about what are the right measures—the measures that really matter—and focusing on those.
Another barrier that we need to tackle is engaging governance and leadership so that organizations have a culture that's focused on quality and safety and that prioritizes quality and safety even when other priorities come to the forefront.
Dr. James Weinstein President and CEO Dartmouth-Hitchcock
I believe our country is at a crossroads in the healthcare space. There's been a lot of disruption over the last seven, eight years with the ACA. But I would say there are three principles important to moving this forward.
First, we should think about things based on population, not market share. Second, we should think about value-based solutions and not volume-based solutions. And third, we need to think of new payment models that actually pay only when patients receive what they want and need and when they're well-informed.
The other thing that's going to make it possible to create real change is transparency of costs—and not cost alone but also the actual clinical outcomes, where the patients can know as much about their healthcare system as they know about what's in a cereal box.
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