AMT Task 3
Program: MBA, Healthcare Management, 2/1/14
Mentor: Rusty Lynch
Chapel Hill, TN Central Time Zone
Current National Healthcare Trends and Policy Initiatives Affecting Healthcare
Healthcare is in a constant state of change with movements that impact rates, access and quality of care. Hospitals have become more competitive due to the rising cost of care delivery and the reduction in reimbursement from payers. This causes difficulty in delivering quality care to all patients, which is being measured by mandated patient perception surveys, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). HCAHPS scores are part of value based purchasing, which was established as part of the Affordable Care Act. This pay-for-performance metric of patient satisfaction impacts payment, yet if hospitals can’t afford to hire enough staff to assure patients feel satisfied, it is a vicious cycle, so they must be resourceful and innovative. Physicians are feeling the pressure to compete as well and often feel that their treatment decisions are based on insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid decisions. The demands on physicians has caused fewer people to pursue the medical field as a career.
Trinity Community Hospital is not immune to the rising cost of healthcare, while consumers and payers downward trend in spending appears to not be sustainable for the future (AFSCME, 2015). Costs must be decreased by the hospital which causes difficulty in providing quality healthcare to the patients.
Trinity Community Hospital safeguards the quality of patient care delivered by ensuring that high quality patient care and service excellence is set as a priority for staff, so it is important to remain knowledgeable of the trends that impact healthcare nationally and how those trends will impact Trinity in the areas of Orthopedics, Cardiovascular services and Cancer Trends
Cost of caring for the orthopedic patient is high and gone are the days when individual items were billed to the patient. Implants, surgical care, therapy and days in the hospital all add up to a great deal of cost to the hospital. Bundled payment, or episode-based payment, is payment based on the expected cost of the care.
There is already a shortage in orthopedic services in the community and the aging baby boomer generation inserts a greater need to the already strained demand. The trend of decreasing physicians graduating from medical school adds to this strain. Impact
According to the Medical Scribe Journal (2015), “for hospitals to be sustainable as businesses they need to take in more money than they spend, just like any other business. But with reimbursement rates falling, overhead costs increasing and demand rising on all sides, that’s just not the case.” The increased cost of caring for the orthopedic patient while receiving payment based on the expected cost of care could cause the orthopedic service line to be unsuccessful. Trinity Community Hospital will need to decrease the cost of care, such as decreasing the length of stay of the orthopedic patient by developing an accelerated recovery program by getting the patient up the day of surgery and beginning physical therapy, using IV acetaminophen to decrease pain with less use of narcotics which can slow patient ambulation and other activities of daily living. If the length of stay can be decreased by one day the hospital may be able to make a profit on this service line.
The impact of not having enough physicians trained in orthopedics is that the service line could fail due to lack of access to services. Once patients are not able to access care in a timely fashion, they will not be repeat clients. Word of mouth about no appointment availability or long waits for appointments or surgery will spread throughout the community and will be pivotal for...
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