The 5 Biggest Challenges Healthcare Leaders are Facing in 2015

August 5, 2015
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2015 has been a big year of change for many healthcare systems. With this change, healthcare leaders have been faced with many challenges, including complying with new federal regulations and making strategic moves towards better care. We’ve compiled a list of the five biggest challenges healthcare leaders have been facing this year.

2015 has been a big year of change for many healthcare systems. With this change, healthcare leaders have been faced with many challenges, including complying with new federal regulations and making strategic moves towards better care. We’ve compiled a list of the five biggest challenges healthcare leaders have been facing this year.

Population Health

Healthcare systems worldwide have been redefining and prioritizing population health over the past year. The challenges many healthcare leaders will face when dealing with population health is the broad range of data that is available. Because population health is concerned with a large group of people, sometimes the data is too broad to actually apply to an organization’s specific goal. The key to overcoming this challenge is to analyze population health data as it relates to your specific organization. Depending on the financial structure of the organization, and its available finances, an organization might want to start from scratch or build on the data they already have.

Quality/Cost Balance

The relationship between quality care and cost effectiveness is a unique one. Healthcare systems often think of them as separate entities, but quality improvement and cost reduction really go hand-in-hand. In 2014, many ACOs did see an increase in quality improvement through  “greater collaboration among doctors and better sharing of patient information,” but overall they failed to reduce costs. The struggle will continue in 2015 for healthcare leaders, but some are saying there is hope in healthcare as the industry embraces technology. How healthcare systems are increasing quality improvement and reducing costs by embracing new technologies is a trend for healthcare leaders to watch for in 2015.

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CEO Turnover

In 2013 the American College of Healthcare Executive reported healthcare CEO turnover tracked in at 20 percent. The trend continued well into 2014 and is now an issue many healthcare leaders will still need to grapple with in 2015. The challenges that come with this high CEO turnover rate include not only delays in strategic planning but also negative effects on employee morale and medical relations. Finding a replacement is normally not a challenge, but finding an appropriate successor is what will have healthcare leaders spending more time on when it comes to CEO recruitment.

Practices and Management

There have been major changes in the healthcare industry since 2013, and the upcoming year holds many challenges for healthcare leaders hoping to revolutionize the way they manage their organizations. An article published by the Harvard Business Review isolated management as one of the biggest issues for healthcare executives for 2015. With the ACA and healthcare reform, many healthcare organizations are looking for ways to change and implement new operational models as the old way of running things simply doesn’t work anymore.

Hospital-Physician Integration

Independent physicians and private practices are facing a myriad of challenges in 2015. As administrative regulations become more difficult to comply with and getting reimbursement for services becomes a difficult process, more and more private practices plan to consolidate or merge with larger healthcare systems. What does this mean for healthcare leaders? Healthcare leaders will need to focus on strengthening relationships with physicians. Fierce Health outlines some major issues you can take into account when engaging physicians: “obtain buy-in, implement performance measures, offer leadership training, and create a mutual code of conduct.”

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