ITG Market Research Finds Hospital Executives Moving Ahead of Expected 2012 Challenges
"Hospital executives are understandably worried. The reimbursement cuts expected in 2012 will have a direct impact on hospitals' bottom lines, and there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the timing and impact of further healthcare reforms. If you add in the general unease about the overall U.S. economy, you have a storm of difficult challenges that hospitals are struggling to respond to at the same time," said
The reported results were obtained from a survey fielded in
The survey showed some signs of optimism. While many executives reported that Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems have been more expensive to implement than expected, a growing number of hospitals have fully functioning EMR systems coming online which are expected to yield significant savings in productivity and timely billing. There have also been some successes in bringing physicians and staff on board with cost-cutting and productivity initiatives, and many hospitals have been able to partner with suppliers more effectively to reduce costs while maintaining high-quality care.
"Many hospitals are trying to proactively address the anticipated challenges," said Christianson. "We are seeing a jump in utilization of aggressive supply and cost management strategies, and many hospitals are consolidating the number of suppliers they work with to increase their control and bargaining power. Despite the economic headwinds, many hospitals are also continuing to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies and equipment in an effort to help their staff do more with less."
The survey results suggest that smaller hospitals are likely to face the greatest difficulties adapting to the changing market conditions. Mergers of hospitals, private practices, and clinics are likely to become more common through 2012, as healthcare providers look for ways to combine resources, reduce duplication of service offerings, and improve bargaining power with suppliers. Furthermore, the uptake of Pay-for-Performance and Accountable Care initiatives are progressing, but primarily within larger hospitals and systems that have more resources available and are comfortable taking greater risks.
About HOSPITAL EXECUTIVES
HOSPITAL EXECUTIVES is a syndicated report series that tracks and analyzes leading indicators and key metrics that define the ever-changing U.S. hospital industry. These quarterly reports provide timely insights and forward-looking projections to support more informed decision-making regarding the impact of new products, changing economic conditions, financial pressures, regulatory constraints, managed care policies, and governmental regulations on hospital purchasing plans and market dynamics.
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