At the recent Not-for-Profit Health Care Investor Conference in New York City, more than 25 not-for-profit health systems had the opportunity to discuss with potential investors how they are redefining the “H” and working toward the goal of transforming health care. The conference, now in its 19th year, is sponsored by the American Hospital Association, Citigroup and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Major trends discussed included providing valuable health care services at a lower cost and higher quality, addressing the social determinants of health, engaging in transformative partnerships, and diversifying the scope of business during this time of health care disruption. 

A panel discussion moderated by Citigroup Managing Director Jim Molloy, titled “Taking the Plunge: Bold Transformational Strategies,” explored how some systems are positioning themselves for the future. Clint Matthews, president and CEO, Tower Health in Reading, PA; Ron Paulus, M.D., president and CEO, Mission Health in Asheville, NC; and Russell Cox, president and CEO, Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY, described how they are working with their trustees to develop strategies to transform their organizations and ensure continued access in their communities. 

“We don’t necessarily know what the future will hold, but we do know that lower cost and higher quality is always better, and I believe that health informatics and data analytics will drive the future of health care,” said Paulus.

Matthews stressed that though Tower Heath is changing, its mission has not, “We stayed true to our mission of advancing health and transforming lives.” 

All leaders agreed that hospitals and health systems must be nimble and honest about how partnerships will help fuel the future of their business strategies and ultimately work to deliver the best health care services for patients and families. 

“It is our incumbent responsibility to find that next transformation and for us it is all about leveraging innovative partnerships,” Cox said.

As the field of health care changes, hospitals and health systems are rising up to the challenges they face to meet the needs of today and are constantly evolving to strategically plan for tomorrow. Regardless of their place in the journey, hospitals and health systems will always be there ready to care for the communities they are privileged to serve, the panelists stressed.