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Advisory Board's Annual Health Care Survey shows executives’ top
priorities include improving ambulatory care access, population health
and risk contracting
Hospital and health system executives are shifting their top strategic
focus from cost control to revenue growth, according to Advisory Board’s
Annual Health Care CEO Survey.
For the second time in three years, the No. 1 concern for hospital
executives is improving ambulatory access, meaning adjusting
facilities, staffing, hours of operation or throughput to increase
patients’ ability to receive care across the health system’s outpatient
locations, physician offices and clinics. In the nationwide survey of 90
C-suite leaders conducted between January and March 2019, 57 percent of
executives said they were extremely interested in the topic, which rose
from eighth in 2018 and can help health systems increase patient volumes
CEOs, particularly at large health systems, are still seeking new and
effective cost-avoidance measures but see top-line growth as even more
pressing. Two of the top three topics related to business expansion.
“Health systems have not given up their keen eye on improving cost
control, and yet C-suite executives recognize the need for comprehensive
margin management strategies that include revenue growth,” said
Christopher Kerns, executive director, Research at Advisory Board.
“Balanced strategies are the key to achieving financial viability and
securing the strategic flexibility necessary to respond to new market
entrants and disruptors.”
The survey asked executives about their level of interest for 29 topics,
including meeting rising consumer demands for service, developing
a Medicare Advantage strategy and building an effective
innovation hub. The Top 5 areas of extreme interest to hospital and
health system executives are:
1. Improving ambulatory access (57 percent)2. Minimizing
unwarranted clinical variation (53 percent)3. Strengthening
primary care alignment (53 percent)4. Redesigning health
system services for population health (52 percent)5. Innovative
approaches to expense reduction (51 percent)
Minimizing unwarranted clinical variation refers to reducing the
utilization of treatments that do not improve patient outcomes.
Strengthening primary care alignment means improving the
hospital-physician partnership to enable mutual success under different
payment and care-delivery models. Redesigning health systems for
population health refers to making organizational, facility, process and
technology changes to support care and payment models that promote
improvement in patient outcomes rather than care volume.
“Executives are more interested in moving upstream to capture revenue
growth through ambulatory access and primary care, rather than
traditional strategies of boosting hospital market share,” said Yulan
Egan, practice manager, Research at Advisory Board.
Only one of the Top 5 areas of interest from 2018 ranked among the Top 5
for 2019: innovative approaches to expense reduction. Last year’s
No. 1 topic, preparing the enterprise for sustainable cost control,
fell to No. 11 out of the 29 topics included in 2019.
To get an even clearer view into C-suite executives’ priorities, a
separate survey question asked respondents to name their single top
priority among high-level categories. Revenue growth led at 21 percent,
followed by population health and Accountable Care Organization strategy
(20 percent). There was a three-way tie for third at 13 percent among
cost containment, physician network alignment and systemness, which
means efforts to streamline operations, deliver more reliable and
coordinated care, rationalize fixed costs and even transform entire
business models. Unlike the rest of the survey, this question required
that respondents choose only one category. Last year, 24.5 percent of
executives chose cost containment, giving it the 2018 top ranking.
Advisory Board’s membership includes many of the largest and most
progressive hospitals and health systems in the United States. Survey
questions are based on Advisory Board’s more than 10,000 annual research
interviews with health care executives.
For further insight into the topics of greatest interest to hospital and
health system leaders, visit the Advisory Board’s At
the Helm blog. Health Care Advisory Board members who could not
attend the 2018-19 National Meeting Series can download the briefing 15
Things CEOs Need to Know in 2019 and view a webconference
series recapping insights on top concerns for health system C-suite
About Advisory BoardAdvisory Board is a best practices firm
that uses a combination of research, technology, and consulting to
improve the performance of 4,400+ health care organizations. An Optum
business, Advisory Board forges and finds the best new ideas and proven
practices from its network of thousands of leaders, then customizes and
hardwires them into every level of member organizations, creating
enduring value. For more information, visit www.advisory.com.
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View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190612005135/en/
Media Contact:Pete SimpkinsonAdvisory Board202.266.6645SimpkinP@advisory.com