Ernst & Young LLP health care report explores collaboration as key to a patient-centric system

Annual health care provider report examines the collaboration imperative to deliver quality care and better outcomes at lower costs

Sep 12, 2012, 09:00 ET from Ernst & Young LLP

NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the US health care industry continues its transformation to a patient-centric system, health care providers face a new imperative to collaborate with other entities to deliver quality care and improved outcomes with greater efficiency at lower costs.  Whether driven by financial pressures, demands to improve quality of care or new payment and delivery models focused on quality outcomes, health care organizations are faced with challenges that require collaboration with others.  These and other observations were released today in New horizons: collaboration, Ernst & Young LLP's annual publication for the US health care provider industry.

"The forces at work today are unprecedented," said Jon Weaver, Provider Care Sector Leader, Ernst & Young LLP.  "Collaboration with stakeholders to share knowledge, pool resources and synergistically enhance patient care has become a common theme. We are in a time when silos are being razed, connections made, and shared purposes linked."

New horizons builds upon Ernst & Young's industry knowledge by featuring insights from in-depth interviews with the following industry leaders:

  • Carolyn M. Clancy, MD  - Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Paul Grundy, MD - President, Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative
  • Denis Cortese, MD - President, Healthcare Transformation Institute
  • Janine Benyus - Founder, Biomimicry 3.8

The report explores new forms of collaboration taking place in the health care sector and examines areas where stakeholders can focus their energies, including:

  1. Consolidation and integration - The financial pressures leading to current consolidation trends in the health care industry show no signs of letting up, with health care mergers and acquisitions on an upward trend in 2012. In this environment, maintaining independence may be difficult for health care entities unless strong connections are forged with others.  
  2. New payment and delivery models - In the quest to deliver quality health care and "bend the cost curve," federal health policy has provided for a range of new payment and delivery models, from patient-centered medical homes to accountable health care organizations.  To succeed within these new models, health care providers must assess their own capabilities and may need to find partners who can act collaboratively in bearing risks, sharing rewards and consistently delivering accountable care. 
  3. Health information technology - Technology will be a critical driver of collaboration in the future, enabling providers to navigate changes in reimbursement and clinical practice, manage costs, coordinate patient care, and support collaboration among health care workers, between clinicians and patients and across multiple sites. Stage 2 of meaningful use for electronic health records emphasizes a secure, actionable exchange of clinical information to optimize patient safety and organizational efficiency.  While ensuring meaningful use, providers and payers alike must also implement new diagnostic and procedure codes to meet new reporting and billing requirements.
  4. Federal health care policy – Even with the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the health care reform law, the Court's ruling did not end political debate over health care, which looks to be a central issue in the 2012 elections and beyond.  Regardless of how or whether lawmakers act, health care stakeholders will continue to seek collaboration opportunities to deliver quality care and improved outcomes at lower costs.

"As we enter a new era of health care delivery, boundaries between industry stakeholders are continuing to dissolve, leading to exciting improvements in the delivery of patient care," said Jim Costanzo, National Practice Leader, Health Care Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP. "With the market and regulatory forces driving the industry toward an outcome-based care delivery model, the highly fragmented majority of health care providers and insurers are seeking ways to work collaboratively." 

About Ernst & Young's Provider Care practice
Ernst & Young's provider care practice is helping the nation's leading health care providers (including hospitals, health systems, managed care organizations, home health companies and post-acute care facilities) navigate market changes, government activities and care delivery innovations. For more information, please visit

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