The risks worth taking in healthcare this year

Chief executives across healthcare are facing tighter budgets this year, but it's still important to innovate and take calculated risks.

Becker's asked healthcare industry CEOs what risks are still worth taking in 2023. For more high level executive insight, join us at the Becker's 13th Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 3-6. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Jessica Cole at and Ally Warner at

Here is what the CEOs had to say.

Matt Hawkins. CEO of Waystar (Salt Lake City, Utah): Economic uncertainty is causing many healthcare companies to pull back on innovation and investments in R&D to preserve cash. Innovation is in our DNA and we will accelerate our efforts as part of our strategic growth plan and our promise to invest in our clients' success.

Leif Murphy. CEO of TeamHealth: After the pandemic, organizations more than ever need to clearly articulate the care they provide to patients, the way they support their clinical caregivers, and the value they bring to their customers. This requires thoughtful investment and strategies – both internal and external.

David Thawley. CEO of HST Pathways: Being bold and building new business lines during times of macroeconomic uncertainty.

Jason Haider. Founder and CEO of Xenco Medical: A risk worth taking this year is venturing into new knowledge domains to usher in interdisciplinary solutions. The complexity and breadth of today's healthcare challenges have created thrilling opportunities to bridge digital, mechanical, and biological disciplines in ways that empower physicians through unified technologies and enable patients to take a leading, active role in their recovery.

Ron Remy. CEO of Mobile Heartbeat: Risk worth taking: Pilot something radical and unique. If it works, go for it – if it doesn't, let it go quickly.

James A. Jorgenson. CEO of Visante: For hospitals and health systems a risk worth taking is an investment in high performance pharmacy for both immediate and long-lasting improvements in clinical and financial performance. Consider that drugs are: one of the fastest growing expenses in U.S. healthcare, a major revenue source, the primary treatment modality for most patients, the primary contributor to medical error in the U.S., and a major element of regulatory compliance and risk management.

Dan Collard. Co-Founder of Healthcare Plus Solutions Group: What is a risk worth taking this year? Being provocative, taking on the status quo, breaking old habits.

Michael C. Meng. CEO of stellarhealth: I think that 2023 may be the year to actually take a real leap on partnering with another player (or players) in healthcare in a meaningful way such that both of us are generating positive economics out of such partnership. These are historically very hard to pull off, but worth putting in the effort on this to make it work in 2023.

Christopher Hart. CEO of Office Ally: Our best work simplifies the complexities of healthcare from registration to reimbursement. We want our partners to focus on what matters most: delivering high quality, personalized healthcare.

Jeffry A. Peters. Founder and Chairman of Surgical Directions: A calculated risk worth taking is one that prioritizes the well-being of our healthcare providers. Burnout is a crisis that's forcing valuable providers to leave the profession, and it's time for a radical change in the healthcare workspace. We must restructure and prioritize our healthcare providers' time at the bedside instead of on their computers, so they can focus on providing quality care to their patients. Let's take action and revolutionize the way we organize and deliver care to better support our healthcare providers and improve patient outcomes.

Jim Costanzo. CEO of Nordic Consulting Partners, Inc.: More investment by healthcare organizations in cloud computing. As more healthcare organizations adopt and deploy technology to create efficiencies and deliver better care to patients, it’s essential to incorporate cloud technology for a multitude of reasons, particularly to help facilitate collaborative care to patients across multiple providers and caregivers. At Nordic, we’ve established partner relationships with secure and established cloud providers AWS and Microsoft to help our clients adopt and navigate cloud environments.

Beto Casellas. Executive Vice President and CEO, Health & Wellness of Synchrony: This year, a risk worth taking is bold innovation to deliver the best financing resources for our patients and providers.

Helping people get the care they want and need begins with equipping health and wellness providers with the modern technology, data and expertise to meet consumers' evolving demands — today and tomorrow. Synchrony Health & Wellness is investing in digital enhancements, like embedded finance in platforms and seamless payments, to make the CareCredit application and payment process more seamless than ever. We have also built an embedded finance API framework enabling our finance and credit experiences to function within the point of sale, on partner mobile apps, at online checkout, within patient healthcare payment platforms, and more. These innovative solutions bring ease of use functionality to consumers and help providers ensure they can meet the demands of today’s changing consumer behaviors.

Terry Shaw. President and CEO of AdventHealth: As the health care landscape continues to change, we see an opportunity to extend our networks outside the confines of the hospital. Starting this year, we are looking at new ways to strengthen and expand our primary care offerings, urgent care - both clinic based and mobile based - home care and digital care. Making these investments will enable us to provide whole-person care that is more accessible to our communities and consumers and puts the people we care for at the center.

William Patterson. CEO and Founder of CareRev: Cut ties with the processes, technologies, and systems that no longer serve your organization. Continuing with the status quo will not work anymore, including antiquated staffing models. We must usher in a paradigm shift by bringing the gig economy to healthcare: offer qualified healthcare professionals the flexibility they want, while giving health systems the tools and human capital they need to stand up the contingent healthcare workforce of the future.

Lou Silverman. CEO of Hicuity Health: Question Everything. Make 2023 the year that you don’t accept conventional wisdom, yesterday’s assumptions, or “the way it has always been”. It will annoy some, but the only way to find new answers is to ask new questions.

Marcus Perez. President of Altera Digital Health: We are investing in our people so they can invest in our clients fully. That comes in many forms but foundationally it is driven by our 10 Core Values at Harris. We have to give our teams the tools, training, resources and autonomy to empower them to act on the client’s behalf, so our clients can focus on delivering the best care possible. We are willing to bet on our people, as we believe that they care deeply about success and simply need the direction and support to deliver. The previous reputation suggests that we haven’t been able to deliver, but we are confident that as we change the culture we will succeed at it!

Gerry McCarthy. CEO and Board Director of Merative: Across the health and social care industries, people are working very hard to control costs. In this environment it feels like a risk to invest in technology, but it’s a risk worth taking. Improving automation and workflows, through data, is the best way to control costs long term.

John Hatchell. Co-Founder and CEO of TYDEi Health: Collaboration is the risk worth taking. Not one company alone is ever going to solve the dire challenges healthcare faces. Companies need to work across the aisle and abandon some of the capitalist tendencies that have long driven strategy. Our healthcare system is too fragile, and without it innovation will be eaten alive by the established oligopolies.

Mario Schlosser, Co-Founder & CEO, Oscar Health: Even if you're an executive, create your own image on Stable Diffusion or Midjourney, browse the AI models on, or chat with a large language model. I'm a computer scientist, and the most recent leaps in AI are astounding even to practitioners. So immerse yourself in it in simple ways to understand how it will affect what we all do.

Jon Shreve. President and CEO of MCG Health: Automate the resource-heavy decisions that don’t require clinical judgment. (On the flip side, don’t rely on AI to make clinical decisions, as a typical AI gets you to only 85 percent confidence.)

Michael Alkire. President and CEO of Premier, Inc: A risk worth taking is going all in on technology enablement. We see so much opportunity to tech-enable healthcare: from the supply chain to the bedside of long-term care facilities and hospitals to back-office accounting to clinical trials and everything in between. Healthcare providers across the country are still dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we view technology as a critical component to bouncing back even stronger. I would suggest that a lack of investment in the rollout and implementation of various technology solutions is not a risk worth taking this year.

Milind Godbole. CEO and Managing Director of GeBBS Healthcare Solutions: Technology led Investments for process enhancement will be the risk worth taking this year.

Jim Gallas. Healthcare Industry Business Leader at Huron: Double down on your revenue growth strategies in order to balance the mounting financial distress of both today and tomorrow.

Jon Zimmerman. CEO of Holon Solutions: Knowing the financial constraints healthcare organizations are under this year, the biggest 'risk' worth taking is to make your care delivery teams your number one priority, vigorously attacking process waste to make their jobs easier by any means necessary. In fact, if they don’t take this risk, there could be a severe snowball effect on healthcare workers and patients that will only contribute to the extreme staffing shortage the industry is experiencing, and continue to stall progress in improving the patient experience and in fixing the larger systemic issues that plague the industry.

Chuck Harbison. Vice President of Business Development at National Cardiovascular Partners: For over a decade, NCP has been on the forefront of the sure and steady migration of outpatient cardiovascular care. Largely driven by new opportunities with private equity investors, increased interest from health systems, and the continued approval of new procedures in an ASC setting, the landscape in cardiology is rapidly changing. Exploring new partnerships, markets, and joint venture structures outside of the traditional physician/management company partnership model is a risk worth taking.

Jeff Fallon. Chair and CEO of Vibe Health by eVideon: Trust your team of tremendous professionals who share your mission. Lead; don't manage them, and get out of their way. Scaling real innovation without trust is not just harder, it makes a terrible place to work.

Derek Streat. Co-Founder and CEO of DexCare: Following the financial challenges health systems faced in 2022 and continue to face amid ongoing economic uncertainty, decision-makers may be hesitant to invest in new digital tools. However, I believe such investments – particularly geared towards solutions that balance consumer preference while optimizing health system resources – are not only worth the risk but critical to ensuring and future-proofing the healthcare industry's success. Patient loyalty and preferences are more fluid than ever. Patients now expect to receive care whenever, wherever, and however they want it. To attract and retain patients, health systems must invest in technology that delivers a personalized, seamless experience with the speed and convenience that meets consumer demand. As competition between health systems and outside disruptors intensifies, decision-makers must remain steadfast in committing to innovation and digital transformation. Investing in solutions that deliver proven ROI for both consumers and health systems will be critical in 2023 and beyond.

Todd Walrath. Founder and CEO of ShiftMed: Health systems have been relying on travel nursing as a temporary fix without investing in longer-term solutions. The development of platform technology now allows health systems to build local pools of workers that are available on demand instead of thirteen-week contracts. By 2025, every major health system will have an on-demand relationship in place. It’s the number one topic being discussed in board rooms among hospital executives.


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