Health Care Trends
October 11, 2010
The survival of health care industry is going to require some innovative and creative initiatives to with stand the trends of the future in this country. Over the past two decades, American hospitals have experienced dramatic changes in their economic and institutional environments. Government-mandated cost-containment efforts, a shift from cost-based reimbursement to prospective payment, increased control of managed care plans, and advances in medical technology that reduce inpatient care have created enormous pressures on hospitals and have threatened their very survival (Bnet, 1999). This type of transformation has caused many institutions to take a close look at providing services in off-site facilities. This type of service will allow for some of the same services that occur in the main facility to be offered in rural or suburban areas. Of course, providing services away from the main facility require certain regulations and licensure for operation. Other areas that must be monitored for the future survival of health care facilities are the changes in the way that health care is delivered as well as the modification and expansion of information technology.
Many organizations are developing new strategic plans, with some based on “mission transforming” strategies and others continuing highly specific missions (i.e., faith-based). “Mission transforming” organizations, usually clinics in more affluent areas and those with direct federal financial support, are expanding service delivery options and are more active in soliciting funding (APHA, 2003). Transforming the way that health care organizations deliver health care will be advantageous in ensuring the survival of their specific facility. Although this may be a new trend in the customary way that health care is traditionally delivered, it serves as an alternative to deliver health care to a community that may otherwise not have access to some subspecialty services. It also enables some populations that may have the capabilities of traveling to the main facility for services access to specialty services closer to their home. This can be an attractive service to the more affluent population. Many times the main facility is located in a more urban population that may be unfavorable to some people. This type of innovative strategy may very well prove to be the ground-breaking development in the survival of major hospitals and possibly smaller facilities. There are standards that must be met in order to stay compliant and operative when operating a larger or small hospital. National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care Providers (NABH) hospital accreditation programme is already in operation since February 2006 and is very well received by the industry. The hospitals accredited by NABH will have global recognition, which in turn will provide boost to the medical tourism in our country. Considering that almost 90% of hospitals are with beds less than 100, there was a demand to have specific guidelines on how to apply hospital accreditation standards for small healthcare organizations or carve out separate standard. Present standard for Small Health Care Organizations (SHCO) is compilation of all applicable standards from hospital accreditation programme, which are relevant for small healthcare organizations. This will facilitate small healthcare organizations in easy understanding and implementation within their facilities. The standard also applies to single specialty hospitals. Besides patients, which are going to be biggest beneficiaries from accreditation, it is expected to provide easy and transparent mechanism for empanelment of small healthcare organizations by Government, Corporate and the Insurance companies (NABH). The Joint Commission is one of the leading accreditation and regulatory affiliates. The mission of Joint Commission Resources (JCR) is to...