Should the functional areas be expected to cut their costs when sales volume falls below budget expl

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Should the functional areas be expected to cut their costs when sales volume falls below budget expl

Medicare reimbursement reductionscuts to state Medicaid programs and rising tides of uncompensated care have created an atmosphere where some hospitals, particularly smaller, community hospitals, are simply happy with a break-even balance sheet. The environment is unlikely to change in the short term.

While may appear to be a grim time for hospitals to keep their finances positive, there are several things hospitals can do to go beyond just maintaining solvency. Hospitals and health systems essentially have two options: They can either cut costs or create new revenue streams.

Here, several healthcare leaders share their thoughts on how this can be done and offer one recurring theme: Hospital and healthcare leadership needs to evaluate a multitude of planes rather than relying only on across-the-board savings cuts. Focus on the continuum of care.

One of the biggest changes occurring in healthcare is the full-scale shift away from fee-for-service and volume-based measures toward accountable care organizations and quality-based measures.

She says the continuum of care hospitals need to focus on includes the initial admission, how services are provided within that admission to create the most efficient process for a quick yet appropriate discharge, a discharge to the appropriate post-acute setting and follow-ups with that discharge.

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Pearson Talbert, president of Aegis Health Group, says hospitals can take it one step further by fostering stronger, mutually beneficial relationships with physicians — especially primary care physicians. In addition to quality- and value-based principles, healthcare reform is also centered on preventive care, managing chronic illnesses and keeping people healthy before a hospital trip is required.

Should the functional areas be expected to cut their costs when sales volume falls below budget expl

To do that while staying profitable, Mr. Talbert says hospitals must focus on physician alignment and actively engage with the primary care physicians in their communities.

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Pumpian also emphasizes the hospital-physician relationship. Although some states prohibit hospitals from employing physicians, she says hospital efficiency and solvency hinges on a hospital's affiliation and collaboration with physicians.

Physicians facilitate patients through the continuum of care, and next year, it will be paramount for hospitals to keep and recruit high-quality physicians who increase a hospital's referral base, have high ratings of patient satisfaction and have the highest commitment to quality patient care.

Design models to reduce readmissions. Hospitals that realign their goals toward the entire continuum of care can then focus on one of the more pertinent aspects: Readmissions negatively impact a hospital's bottom line in several ways, such as the high costs associated with them and scrutiny from private health insurers and patients.

Now part of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, hospitals with high levels of preventable readmissions face the potential of losing a portion of their Medicare, Medicaid or other governmental reimbursements.

Scott Downing, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at VHA, says a hospital's preparation for the readmission risk is "absolutely critical," and much of the responsibility will fall on a hospital's case management and preventive care staff, who will need to be properly trained and managed to ensure overall readmission rates go down.

Have a good relationship with payors, and renegotiate managed care contracts. While hospitals cannot control the underpayments from Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental payors, they have a semblance of control over one major outlet: Talbert says private insurance carriers comprise, on average, 35 percent of a hospital's revenue.

According to Kyle Kobe, principal at healthcare consulting firm Equation, hospitals must take the time to understand existing contracts, benchmark managed care contracts against each other, conduct research to know what percentage of the insurer's business comes from the hospital, routinely update stagnant and evergreen contracts and look for carve-out opportunities.

Hospitals and their managed care departments must be prepared when renegotiating contracts, but at the same time, a level of respectful dialogue must exist — otherwise, fallouts will occur, leading to costly periods of no reimbursement and a public relations nightmare. Manage new service lines to increase market share.

When it comes to "creating new streams of revenue" for hospitals, this most commonly refers to adding new service lines. Hospitals should not merely add any service line — for example, orthopedics — because it is historically profitable.

Moore says hospitals need to conduct research and look at the demographics of their locale to determine which service lines are needed, what competitors in the area offer and what services stand to gain the most referrals.When budgeted sales are not achieved, each areas is expected to cut costs so that the president's profit target can be met.

However, the profit target is seldom met because costs are not cut enough. In fact, costs often run above the original budget in all functional .

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Should the functional areas be expected to cut their costs when sales volume falls below budget expl

R. Perry, with almost all functional areas of the Department in order to perform their j obs. the cadre is trained, they are expected t o go out to their respective product component s and provide the metric training. IndyWatch Feed Aunews Archiver: Go Back Days | 30 Days |.

But the GM told them to come back with a plan that kept the same volumes but cut base cost levels 5 % below the prior year’s, instead of letting them rise with volume. A tough task, but he was. Journal of glass studies - volume 31, , David B.

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