300+ hospital executives tell their No. 1 financial strategy

Hospitals cited "reviewing and optimizing current operational and clinical processes" as their top strategy for containing costs in the next three years, according to a survey of U.S. hospital executives.

The survey, conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Prudential Retirement, took place last January and February. More than 300 hospital executives participated.

Here are six survey findings.

1. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said rising healthcare costs are a "critical" or "extremely critical" concern, the survey found.

2. Respondents cited various strategies for containing costs in the next three years. Thirty-eight percent of respondents cited reviewing and optimizing current operational and clinical processes as their top strategy, followed by "eliminating unprofitable services" and "seeking lower-cost suppliers for inputs," according to the survey. Twenty-nine percent of respondents cited "partnering with other hospitals/hospital groups to create economies of scale" as their top strategy.

3. The survey found more than half (58 percent) of hospitals are adopting at least one of the following strategies: "outsourcing services," "restricting pay increases" and "changing care pathways to lessen the need for high-cost talent."

4. Half of respondents said merger and acquisition activity or increased partnerships is a viable strategy for eliminating expenses in the next three years, the survey found.

5. Less than half (45 percent) of respondents said cost is their second-highest barrier in the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care.

6. In the next decade, nearly all (more than 90 percent) of respondents believe they will see a deficiency of specialists, generalist physicians, nurses and other clinicians "that will hamper their ability to deliver high-quality care."

Access the full survey findings here.

 

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