By Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders and Geoffrey G. Martin
The rise of regionalized healthcare using the hub-and-spoke model of care delivery has the potential to help hospitals address critical challenges, from expanding access to care to achieving both economies and opportunities of scale. We must transition from thinking about healthcare to thinking about equitable health for our communities.
Navicent Health, based in Macon, Georgia, has been on a multi-year trajectory to build a high-performing organization that is culturally and operationally capable of serving as the hub for a clinically integrated network serving central and south Georgia. Step by step, this journey has led senior leadership at Navicent Health to confront a number of issues, and our experience may help others just starting their transformation.
From a business model perspective, the changing landscape of reimbursement is top-of-mind at Navicent Health as it is for healthcare organizations across the country. With instability disrupting insurance exchanges in Georgia, we’ve seen reimbursement decline, affecting our ability to push a strong operating margin. The problem was worse five years ago when the hospital ran at less than half capacity. Today, we are full or over capacity on most days but must become more agile, efficient, and think beyond the walls of the hospital. Other metrics—days cash on hand and debt capacity—have been healthy. To remain competitive, access at scale has become our primary focus as we look outward and consider approaches to systems integration and magnification. [Read more…]