Operations

  • 08/02/16
    In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s intrepid sleuth observes that “the world is full of obvious things which nobody by chance ever observes.” Many of us who have spent our professional lives in health care have an intuitive belief that genuine multispecialty medical groups deliver care more efficiently than when physician services are fragmented among multiple, largely independent medical groups.more...
  • Sg2, a Vizient company
    07/14/16
    Rather than any early knockout in one of his epic matches, eulogies last month for boxing legend Muhammad Ali memorialized his three-decade, very public fight against Parkinson’s disease. The once fleet-footed heavyweight champion’s chronic condition, in the words of former president Bill Clinton, “made his life bigger, not smaller” as he championed greater awareness and resources for the condition.more...
  • 06/29/16
    Acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Andy Slavitt said earlier this year that CMS often can be viewed as a “black box with opaque regulations and limited back and forth about our policy reasoning or our implementation constraints.” That feeling is commonly held by hospitals across the country, as well as policymakers in Washington. The agency is seeking to shed that reputation and engage more openly with stakeholders, but trying to forecast the...more...
  • 06/22/16
    A little more than two years ago, separated by three months, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of two grandsons. They have enriched our lives immeasurably, and as I watched one of them playing recently, I found myself thinking about the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy. Simply defined, entropy is nature’s inexorable march toward chaos.more...
  • Sg2, a Vizient company
    06/22/16
    It is no surprise that virtual health continues to be a hot topic among our clientele and across the health care industry. The majority of hospitals and health systems have implemented some sort of virtual health program or expect to do so soon. But the path to a unified, system-level virtual health initiative, the return on investment (ROI) and the best way to track success remain anything but clear, varying considerably across markets.more...
  • 06/07/16
    Winston Churchill once said, “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”more...
  • 06/02/16
    Late last year, Congress unexpectedly passed a law that significantly reduced payment rates for off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) that were not billing Medicare by the date of enactment, Nov. 2, 2015. The provision – Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act – applied to HOPDs based more than 250 yards from the main hospital campus and lowered reimbursement rates to that of a physician’s office or ambulatory surgery center.more...
  • 05/25/16
    Ambulatory health care operations and the airlines have one important feature in common: high fixed costs.more...
  • 05/18/16
    With the April 1 launch of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, participating hospitals are financially accountable for the quality of care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries undergoing hip and knee replacements, from surgery through recovery. With CJR, hospitals are now more incentivized than ever to work collaboratively with physicians and post-acute providers to improve care patient care.more...
  • Sg2, a Vizient company
    05/04/16
    What consumer doesn’t love a good price war? Savvy shoppers have been the beneficiaries of ferocious pricing wars among airlines, wireless carriers and big box retailers just to name a few examples: consider one-way fares to Maui for $199 or holiday-time iPhones for $45. How about blue jeans for 9 cents? While customers rejoiced, most of the companies engaged likely were licking their wounds. These are typically wars of attrition that make the battles we’re now witnessing in the...more...