Leavitt Partners Future Frame Series: Strategic Challenges In Healthcare Delivery

On March 26, 2021, Leavitt Partners held a LinkedIn Live broadcast focused on strategic challenges in healthcare delivery, featuring Andrew Croshaw, Bo Nemelka, Jennifer Colamonico, and guest speaker Mark Smith, MD, an advisor to Leavitt Partners, and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and Visiting Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. The speakers discussed the challenges health systems will continue to face after the pandemic – growth, consumers’ access to care, community engagement, and new models of financing and delivering care – but through a different lens, thinking differently about their role in providing care to their communities. Read on to learn what has changed.

Health System Strategies, Through the COVID Portal
When COVID-19 hit the nation, the ground shifted in ways that may have changed the trajectory of our health care system.

First, Americans experienced a collective and urgent need for health security. Access to care became life or death. Copays and cost sharing and being denied care due to lack of insurance became temporarily unconscionable. For a moment we became our brother’s keeper in part because our brother could infect us.

Hospitals were seen as a key part of our public health system, playing a critical role in triage, diagnosis, and vaccination. But unlike other public health assets, hospitals are not places where people want to go but rather where sick people go and hope to leave.

For many years, “consumerism” in healthcare has focused on creating pleasant experiences in the hospital, developing state-of-art hospital facilities. Now, health systems need to focus on creating experiences that keep people out of the hospital.

The pandemic also unveiled the depth and breadth of health inequity in the U.S. Solving inequity means expanding insurance coverage, looking deeply into the data to identify why disparities happen, and developing accountability tools and rankings to transparently track what is changing.

Additionally, healthcare costs and affordability challenges are more transparent now, partially due to exposing heath system finances in accounting for the COVID revenue impact, and partly due to policy efforts to make price information more transparent.

COVID has changed expectations, and all healthcare stakeholders have an obligation to better address these fundamental issues in the healthcare system. Virtual care, delivered in appropriate hybrid models to maximize the physician-patient relationship, is an inevitable solution to many of these problems of delivering more convenient access to more people to further quality outcomes.

Health system boards and leaders need to understand what is now being expected of them by policy makers, consumers, and members of the communities they serve and lean into bold action. Dr. Smith talked about this as a plastic moment – possibly moldable – but hopefully not an elastic moment where we snap back to our old ways. The need for value-based solutions to control costs and coordinate care has never been greater, and fortunately we have the solutions, technologies, and evidence that can lead the way to a more affordable and equitable system.

To learn more about how Leavitt Partners helps health systems think through their long-term strategies, click here. If you were unable to attend the LinkedIn Live discussion on March 26, you can view the recording here.

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Our mission at Leavitt Partners is to advance value to make health care more affordable, sustainable, and effective. We invite community members and industry experts to join us in future dialogue on the healthcare climate. View our upcoming schedule of Future Frame discussions here and join us for our next broadcast on Friday, April 16, 2021 on LinkedIn Live. Governor Mike Leavitt, Andrew Croshaw, and other Leavitt Partners leaders will provide a Political Check Point update.