ECG Management Consultants: 3 insights from the 13th Annual Meeting

At the Becker’s Hospital Review 13th Annual Meeting in Chicago this year, executives from around the country gathered to discuss their most pressing issues and to learn from one another.

Many of the conversations centered on optimizing healthcare delivery in the postpandemic era. Organizations also discussed shifts in patient preferences and how best to innovate and reach patients in the right setting at the right time.

Three themes emerged from this year’s conversations, exhibit hall interactions, breakout sessions, and keynote speakers.

1. Determining How to Best Attract and Retain a Dynamic Healthcare Workforce

In nearly every session, speakers mentioned that workforce issues are plaguing their organizations. Providers addressed how high agency costs are negatively impacting their margins and day-to-day delivery of care. These hospitals/health systems are not only competing with each other to attract talent, but also with local non-healthcare employers for staff (e.g., in one market a local car manufacturer has recently set up a plant and is offering an attractive benefit package).

To attract and retain workforce, hospitals are offering sign-on and retention bonuses and attempting to create educational pathway programs to train future workers. Some hospitals are even partnering with local hospital competitors to fund these educational pathway offerings. Organizations are also getting creative to attract talent—one hospital purchased a local resort to house all travel staff.

2. Deploying Disruptive Technology

To respond to this workforce crisis and the rising cost of healthcare delivery, health systems, hospitals, and tech companies are examining ways to transform the industry by deploying innovative solutions to solve some of the most complex problems. Insights and trends from the conference include the following:

  • Telehealth boomed during the pandemic. It is now starting to decline from its peak usage but remains an everyday resource for providers to reach patients.
  • Many systems are still evaluating how best to use hospital-at-home programs; reimbursement pressures and staffing issues are limiting wider adoption.
  • ChatGPT was a hot topic at many discussions, and speakers noted how this new technology can transform workflows and patient communication. Speakers acknowledged that AI is in its nascent stages but is quickly accelerating, and healthcare providers will need to continue to be nimble in adopting it.
  • Mark Cuban was a keynote speaker, and he highlighted how Cost Plus Drugs is disrupting the pharmacy distribution of drugs with an affordable and transparent way for patients to buy medications. This company is quickly gaining adoption and has soared to more than two million members since opening in early 2022.

3. Planning for the Continued Shift to the Ambulatory Setting

Many speakers highlighted the accelerating shift of care from the inpatient to the ambulatory setting. These organizations are grappling with how and when to move care to the ambulatory setting in a way that is financially sustainable, in light of material reductions in reimbursement, while enhancing efficiency, improving the patient experience, and reducing the total cost of care.

At the conference, ECG principals Mark Johnston, Alex Pinto, and Joe Mangrum led a presentation titled “Key Considerations for Optimizing Your Ambulatory Network.” They reviewed the biggest challenges and potential solutions to transform the ambulatory network, including:

  • Competition from other providers and new market entrants.
  • Lower reimbursement and margin impact.
  • Lack of available ambulatory market intelligence.
  • Provider engagement.

Learn how ECG helps providers unlock the potential of your ambulatory enterprise.

Overall, Becker’s Hospital Review 13th Annual Meeting was a resounding success. Healthcare executives from across the industry came together to share their insights and discuss the top issues they are facing and how they are driving change. ECG was proud to be a part these important conversations, and we look forward to continuing to help drive that change.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars