Thirty-two percent of U.S. healthcare executives think the healthcare industry is now on the right track -- a notable improvement over previous years but a clear sign that industry leaders are still generally dissatisfied with industry trends.
The 2013 Industry Survey from HealthLeaders Media, the latest installment of an annual survey of healthcare executives, finds that 39% of respondents believe the industry is on the wrong track, another 28% are undecided and 32% say the industry is on the right track. The "right track" number is up sharply from 2012, when just one-quarter of respondents expressed that view.
Moreover, when asked how they felt about their own organization's individual direction in the marketplace, 71% said their organization is on the right track, 15% were undecided and just 14% said their own organization is on the wrong track.
"It is encouraging to learn that CEO optimism is on the upswing as they transition their organizations from delivering episodic care to providing for overall population health," said Edward Prewitt, editorial director at HealthLeaders Media. "While questions about the future of the healthcare industry remain, providers are moving quickly to ensure quality care and growth in the face of shifting payment models."
Still, the survey discovered that many healthcare leaders are uneasy about the changes that will soon be accelerating in the industry, particularly with respect to reimbursement arrangements at the federal level.
"The end result is that there will be greater risk shifted to providers at a time when providers are really not that good at accepting risk," said Bruce M. Elegant, president and CEO of Rush Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, Ill. "That is generating a lot of anxiety and worry because we're being asked to do something that has traditionally been the role of insurance companies."
Other key findings from the survey included the following:
- The number-one strategic priority remains patient experience and satisfaction (selected by 54% of the 823 respondents), which gained importance following the introduction of the federal value-based purchasing program.
- Leaders overwhelmingly (78%) see health information exchanges as their top strategic opportunity in 2013, followed by value-based purchasing (64%).
- Organizations' leading challenge for clinical quality improvement is coordination across the care continuum (24%), followed by population health management and readmissions (each at 14%).
The new research, an independent HealthLeaders Media survey supported by Conifer Health Solutions, was based on responses from 823 healthcare executives nationwide. The comprehensive industry report, "2013 Industry Survey: Strategic Imperatives for an Evolving Industry," is available for free download now at http://hlm.tc/UnJGcB.
In addition, two value-add versions of the report, containing in-depth analysis and additional features, are available for purchase: the Premium version, which may be purchased at http://hlm.tc/UnJGcB, includes takeaways on each key survey finding, lets buyers segment data according to their needs, and provides recommendations and discussion questions for healthcare leadership teams; and the Buying Power version, which is available for purchase at http://hlm.tc/ZCcAXW, is designed for healthcare industry suppliers and includes detailed drill-down data on purchasing trends and projections to aid sales strategies.
Finally, a special companion report on CEO-only responses, "2013 CEO Industry Survey: Optimism on the Upswing," is also available for free download, courtesy of Conifer Health Solutions: http://hlm.tc/UygfQ2.
HealthLeaders Media, a division of HCPro, Inc., is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals. As an integrated media company, HealthLeaders Media includes HealthLeaders magazine, HealthLeadersMedia.com, the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, HealthLeaders Media Rounds events, HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs reports, and California HealthFax. All these platforms may be found online at www.healthleadersmedia.com.