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Providing solutions: Addressing challenges, positioning for growth

Mindful of business, industry and regulatory risks, providers face tough issues in an era of health care reform while working to provide quality patient care. Recognizing the five factors below can start a conversation between leaders willing and able to envision and work toward growth.

5 factors affecting growth:

1. Achieving financial and operational improvement is an urgent priority.
As with any business, a health care system needs to look for ways to maximize revenue, reduce costs, improve overall performance and in some instances, transform its operational design.

2. Merging with other hospitals and health care systems provides an opportunity to strengthen the balance sheet and draw from a larger revenue base.
Consolidation must be handled carefully and strategically; M&A can be prone to failure. The health care sector is no exception.

3. Creation of vast amounts of data poses real challenges for health care providers trying to understand and use the information.
The ongoing revolution in electronic health records and the deployment of ICD-10 will only exacerbate these challenges. Hospitals and health care systems that improve their data analytics will be able to produce actionable intelligence and gain a competitive advantage.

4. For both health systems and physicians groups, the appeal of integration is strong.
For some, integration makes sense: Health systems are engaged in a talent war for physicians, who in turn are looking for greater income security. Their integration requires a systematic approach, with the infrastructure for relationship preset and tested.

5. The governance of tax-exempt health systems has never been under greater scrutiny.
As health care organizations continue to transform and become more complex, the role of governance becomes even more critical. Nine benchmarks revealed in a 2012 study by the Commonwealth Center for Governance Studies Inc. have prompted board members to take notice and for some, accelerate their focus on system-wide strategy and strategic thinking.

Health care is everyone's business. For those in the business of providing it, Grant Thornton Health Care professionals offer the industry-specific know-how and solutions.

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