The 19th Annual Not-for-Profit Health Care Investor Conference kicks off today in New York City, providing an important opportunity for not-for-profit health systems to maintain a dialogue with investors.
 
The conference, sponsored by AHA, Citi and the Healthcare Financial Management Association, allows these systems to spotlight how they are redefining not just the “H” but health care more broadly in the communities they serve.

And this year’s theme – the intersection of strategy and finance – captures our reality well. We, at the AHA would make the case that intersecting strategy and finance is all about “value” – providing the right care in the right place at the right time with the right outcomes and at the right cost. 

Just last week at the AHA Annual Meeting both Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma reinforced  the need to not only continue – but accelerate –the move to a system that is based on the value of care provided rather than the volume of services performed.  

We think reaching a value-based system is not only about improving care but also about improving affordability. Our members are working hard on this but they are not the only stakeholders when it comes to affordability and, as such, we cannot fix all the issues on our own.  

But, we can be a catalyst – promoting health care affordability and quality and collaborating with consumers, insurers, employers, government and others. The AHA is leading with a proactive, positive and aggressive program, known as The Value Initiative, which outlines four strategies to improve value and affordability:  

  • First, redesign the delivery system: from improving coordination of care and chronic care management, to more efficient ways to provide care to our patients.  
  • Second, improve quality and outcomes: through data analytics and evidence-based care, hospitals and health systems can reduce clinical and operational variation.  
  • Third, develop strategies for risk management and payment reform: As the scope of our services extends beyond traditional boundaries to ever-broader hospital walls to increasingly diverse populations and to issues of health inequity and social determinants of health, it’s clear our focus should be as much about population health and leaning in to new payment models.  
  • Fourth, implement new efficiencies and operational solutions to lower costs and improve effectiveness.

All of those strategies require innovation in one way or another to drive improvements in value. One only needs to open the daily newspaper to see disruption occurring in health care both from hospitals and health systems themselves and from external entrants such as CVS, Amazon, Walmart and others.  

Hospitals and health systems are innovating by developing new life-saving treatments and advancements, providing alternatives to inpatient care, developing continuums of care, establishing non-traditional partnerships, creating new business ventures, removing the friction from navigating the care experience, and addressing the social determinants of health. 

Every day our hospitals and health systems rise up to meet the needs of individuals and communities as they have done for decades. The field is changing, stretching to transform, to improve and to redefine how care is delivered that provides value.

This is an exciting time, and we at the AHA plan to be vital partners to not only meet today’s needs but to pave the way to a preferred future. 

I look forward to hearing how the systems presenting at the conference this week are driving the path forward to ensure we have a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health.