As insurers and hospitals continue to emphasize quality amid an environment of declining reimbursements, pay for performance is increasingly important. But experts say to really see the benefits these programs promise, they’ve got to permeate the entire healthcare organization. Ron Seifert, Healthcare Executive Compensation Practice leader at Hay Group, a global management-consulting firm in Philadelphia, Pa., is convinced that pay for performance will to play a critical role in healthcare. 

Read more: On the Level

The Great Recession and the uncertainty over the future of healthcare reform haven’t been kind to hospitals and healthcare organizations. With outside funding scarce and more uninsured patients than ever requiring care, hospitals are having to get more creative in deploying their scare resources and finding funding sources for needed capital improvements and projects.

Read more: Creative Capital

Rehospitalization of Medicare patients cost the federal government an astounding $17.4 billion in 2004 and subjected a frail population to increased health risk—worse, recent studies from IHI suggest 28% of all rehospitalizations are potentially avoidable. Happily, the process by which a patient is transitioned from hospital to home (or other post-acute setting) is gaining heightened attention from the federal government as it struggles to control healthcare costs and improve quality of care.

Read more: No Return Trip

If there’s any part of the healthcare economic environment that is integral to your success and that bottom line, it’s your institution’s relationships with your physicians, whether those doctors are employed by your facility or just affiliated with it. In recent years, that dynamic has shifted. More hospitals than ever are bringing physician practices inhouse in an effort to gain control over revenues and potential referrals. But it’s not an easy change for many doctors to make.

Read more: Building Bridges

Every summer, as the release date approaches for US News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s top hospitals, the tension rises at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo. In 2009, the 46-bed research and teaching institution marked its 12th consecutive year rated the best respiratory disorder hospital. And everyone wants to topple number one.

Read more: Do Ratings Matter?

A hot new tool is making the rounds among hospitals, and it has the power to enact true change in quality and patient care. Called HLQAT (pronounced hellcat), the Health Leadership Quality Assessment Tool is designed to help hospitals identify and improve the processes and leadership behaviors that are associated with high clinical quality. 

Read more: Where Do You Stand?

As hospital operating margins continue to decrease, executives are searching for ways to improve performance and bolster finances. Surgical cases are one such area, but as we have seen with various clients, many hospitals waste untold dollars each year in unnecessary delays to operating room cases. 

Read more: Making Time

No, not the green kind in your lawn, but the interdepartmental, competitive kind that stalks every hallway in every organization, hospitals importantly not excepted. The primal need to defend your own patch has evolved over time as a survival mechanism, and there is obvious value because inefficient, crude, and temporary as it might be, it clearly works. 

Read more: It's All About Turf

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