Ascension charts new strategic direction: 4 things to know

St. Louis-based Ascension is changing its strategic direction to better meet the needs of patients who are seeking more care in outpatient settings, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here are four things to know.

1. Ascension President and CEO Anthony Tersigni, EdD, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the organization's new strategic direction will focus more on improving patients' overall health.

"The mindset has to change from inpatient care to: How do we move away from our campuses and move into the community and move into settings that are easier to access, cheaper, quicker and have the same quality and safety and outcome standards?" he said.

2. One of Ascension's goals is to better leverage outpatient care sites, such as urgent care centers.

3. Ascension also aims to become profitable off Medicare rates. Roughly 64 percent of Ascension's patients rely on government payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

"That 64 percent is only going to go up and we need to live within the realities of the new world and that's the new world," Dr. Tersigni told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

4. Ascension is taking several steps to remain financially viable and to improve patient care. Dr. Tersigni said clinicians are creating a playbook dubbed "Ascension Way" to eliminate clinical variance. The system also aims to wipe out preventable disparities in health outcomes, according to the report.

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