Mynorth Medical Guide 2012 Medical Guide : IFC
MYNORTH Medical iNSideR Health Care Policy Munson CEO Ed Ness Looks at the Health Care Horizon L arge changes loom for health care in America. We check in with Munson Healthcare CEO Ed Ness for his take on what hospitals expect. How much effect will this election have on how health care is run in America? Our overall position is that, frankly, no matter what hap-pens with specific legislation or whether there is a Republican or Democratic president, the substance of what will happen will be somewhat the same. The cost of health care at the current rate of growth is probably not sustainable, and whoever is president will have to do something to change that. What does that mean for Munson near term? We have to do whatever we can to be in the lowest cost posi-tion we can be. We are well positioned for that currently—rank-ing in the best quartile of hospitals providing Medicare services, according to the Dartmouth Atlas, which tracks that. We have to keep that up and become even more efficient. We expect cuts totaling $150 million over the next 10 years, and we think those cuts will happen no matter who is in charge. So you must cut costs while simultaneously expanding services to bring in state-of-the-art health care— doesn’t sound easy. Well, yes. We will need community support, which we have received in the past, like when we expanded the emergency depart-ment. Now we are working on a cancer center. We will need big capital support through philanthropy to make those things happen. Currently we are in the quiet phase of that fund-raising, work-ing through our foundation. Our hope is that construction would come together in a couple of years. Can you help us understand all the talk about health care providers focusing on wellness? Nationally, the next big shift is away from paying hospitals based on things like lab tests and procedures to paying them based on quality and wellness. So, for example, any chronic dis-ease, the cheapest way to manage that is in a doctor’s office in an outpatient setting. As of October 1, if somebody is readmitted for a chronic disease shortly after being discharged, hospitals won’t be paid for that. The third point is disincentives for poor quality and errors. If somebody gets an infection in the hospital, that longer stay won’t be paid for. Give a sense for how far Munson has to go in those areas. We are very well positioned. Our quality indicators are good, our readmission rates are good and our infection rates very good. But it will still be a big change. todd zawistowski 231.935.5000, munsonhealthcare.org.
Munson CEO Ed Ness Looks At The Health Care Horizon
Large changes loom for health care in America. We check in with Munson Healthcare CEO Ed Ness for his take on what hospitals expect.