NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Although innovation has long been the hallmark of biomedical science in the US, the nation's system for delivering and paying for care has not kept pace with these scientific breakthroughs. For health care provider and payer organizations, the industry's next great challenge is in the pursuit of relentless innovation – changing long-established practices; reinforcing new behaviors that focus on value, wellness and integrated care; and breaking through the wall that has long separated health care delivery and financing. These and other observations were released today in New horizons: innovation, Ernst & Young LLP's annual publication for US health care providers and payers.
"Today, innovation is an industry imperative," said Jon Weaver, EY Americas Health Care Sector Leader. "Health care organizations are being asked to overcome inertia, break through the status quo and dynamically create the future of care through innovative approaches to delivery and payment."
New horizons builds upon the firm's industry knowledge by featuring insights from in-depth interviews with the following industry leaders:
- Don Berwick, MD – President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Cyndy Nayer, MA – President and CEO, the Center of Health Engagement
- Peter Pronovost, MD – Medical Director, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
- Lewis Morris, JD – Former chief counsel to the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services
- Stephen Plume, MD – Professor of Surgery, of Community and Family Medicine, and of The Dartmouth Institute
- Mary Grealy, JD – President, the Healthcare Leadership Council
"We view innovation as the ability to act on new ideas, harnessing the energy, commitment and resources within a particular organization to improve performance and ultimately increase value for stakeholders," said Jim Costanzo, Americas Advisory Heath Care Leader for Ernst & Young LLP. "Today more than ever for health care providers and payers, an innovative approach will require a strong foundation, the capacity for growth and an eye for emerging opportunity."
The report explores new forms of innovation taking place in health care and examines areas where providers and payers can be "forces for change," including:
1. Cost savings and value creation – Hospitals are finding ways to coordinate more closely with physicians, other providers and payers to facilitate global payments, the medical home and other initiatives galvanized by the health care reform law. Payers are differentiating their plans to demonstrate value and excel in the retail market. Providers and payers are innovating together in cost-saving measures such as population health, joint disease management programs, and the pursuit of reduced variation.
2. Patient care transformation – Providers and payers are working together to eliminate the barriers between silos of service and information that have long been the industry norm – with the goal of creating more seamless, cost-effective and patient-centered care. Innovations range from safety strategies and quality initiatives to steps that enhance patient comfort, convenience and the overall health care experience.
3. Health information technology – Innovations that create better use of data, such as electronic health records, mobile technologies and clinician and patient decision-making tools, are vital to a continuously improving health system. The pace of change is swift, and the number of ways and venues in which providers, payers and patients receive and share health information is rapidly multiplying – creating unprecedented opportunities to solve problems, increase efficiencies and better coordinate care.
4. Integration opportunities – Health care organizations are seeking partners through a variety of innovative structures – with the goal of developing fully integrated health care delivery networks in an accelerated timeframe. Hospitals are teaming with ancillary and post-acute service providers through partnerships or contractual affiliations. Payers are acquiring providers, providers are acquiring payers, and private equity firms are finding opportunities for significant growth through mergers of similar health care organizations.
5. Workforce initiatives – Innovations are being tested to mitigate workforce shortages, maximize resources and create the workforce of the future. The new workforce will deliver and support emerging care models, including expanded roles for current health professionals, new types of workers to support care transformation and team-based models that optimize a mix of health providers.
"As the government and industry work together to redesign the systems that deliver and pay for care, leadership for a new horizon calls for inspired thinking – and focused action," said Bill Fera, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP. "Those organizations with vision, perseverance and strong root systems can innovate in even the toughest of times."
For more information about the report, please visit: www.ey.com/NewHorizons2013
About Ernst & Young LLP's Health Care Industry practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Health Care Industry practice is helping the nation's leading health care providers and payers navigate market changes, government activities and care delivery innovations. For more information, please visit www.ey.com/US/en/Industries/United-States-sectors/Health-Care.
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SOURCE Ernst & Young LLP