While much of the healthcare industry was eager to put 2020 behind it, the new year brings its own challenges, concerns, and promises. Trends in the three main categories of new Biden administration policy, care delivery, and healthcare technology will shape 2021, with key issues including the long-term effects of COVID-19, future emergency preparedness, and the outlook for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Healthcare leaders can prepare for this pivotal year by understanding critical areas to watch within these categories and how events, activities, and political appointments will affect the healthcare ecosystem.
Learn more about Stephen Grossbart, PhD
Stephen R. Grossbart, PhD, is an experienced health care executive with experience as a senior vice president and chief quality officer and chief analytics officer at Mercy Health, Cincinnati Ohio, where he oversaw Mercy’s Center for Patient Safety and Clinical Transformation. His published work has appeared in Medical Care Research and Review, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Journal of Healthcare Management and Archives of Surgery. In 2012, his book chapter, “Conceptualization and Definitions of Quality,” appeared in Health Care Quality: The Clinician's Primer edited by David Nash, MD, MBA. He has served and co-chaired on multiple National Quality Forum committees, dating back to 2003. In 2013, he was named as one of the 50 Experts Leading the Field of Patient Safety by Becker’s Hospital Review.
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Health systems that aren’t prepared for changes to Medicare reimbursement under a value-based system risk quality penalties and reduced reimbursement. They can protect themselves by following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) annual Measures Under Consideration List—and not waiting till it’s too late to address gaps in their system. The measures accepted from the list of proposals will help determine the areas of care delivery that Medicare will hold organizations accountable for.
It’s never too early for health systems to prepare. CMS selects measures that are already nationally recognized as priority areas for improvement, giving organizations proactive direction in their improvement strategy.
The quality and patient safety movement of the early 21st century called for greater board of trustee involvement in improvement. However, too many health systems still don’t have the resources in place to effectively engage their boards around quality and safety measures.
Six guidelines describe how organizations can better leverage data to inform their boards:
Emphasize quality and patient safety goals.
Leverage National Quality Forum-endorsed measures.
Use benchmarking and risk adjustment to select targets.
Access data beyond the EHR.
Provide data and information for multiple organizational levels.
Develop a board-specific measurement and presentation strategy.