As the country and our leadership glorify the benefit and bemoan the evils of healthcare reform, most of us sit on the sidelines without a clue of what it means to us and our families. Instead we take sides with our favorite talk show pundit or political party.
At a few recent healthcare executive events, I asked hospital CEO’s off-line “What is healthcare reform going to mean to your organization?” The answer was a unanimous “I don’t know.” A few of them added “…but it’s not going to be good.” For them that means less money for their hospital and more difficulty. If they don’t know the impact it will have on their hospital, how can we expect to know?
Healthcare reform is forcing institutions to get better, leaner, more efficient, and to concentrate on the clinical tasks or the medical component of running a medical center. The burden of managing facilities, capital projects, or real estate portfolios is a cumbersome distraction. The difficulty of owning and financing new construction must also be overcome. How will these non-clinical challenges be met while the riot of clinical initiatives consumes the C-suite?
One thing we know for sure. It doesn’t matter where you pin your hopes on keeping or repealing the bill. These changes are absolutely necessary and they will happen either by market or government mandate. The train has left the station. Let’s help it make its journey smoothly… wherever it goes.