State of the Industry Survey: Health system respondents results

December 29, 2015
Aubrey Westgate

Survey reveals how size impacts hospitals' challenges, priorities, outlook, and technology use.

 

 

How does your healthcare system match up to other healthcare systems of a similar size? Does it face the same challenges and opportunities? It is acquiring similar technology and is it implementing the same initiatives?

To help you find out, we analyzed the results of Managed Healthcare Executive's 2015 State of the Industry Survey.

At the outset of the survey, we asked respondents to identify what type of healthcare system they represent:

  • Small (located in one region and serving only one region)

  • Medium (located in multiple regions and serving multiple regions)

  • Large (located throughout the country and serving individuals throughout the country)

Here are some of the key findings based on the more than 600 survey responses we received.

 

 

 

 

1. Value-based care momentum

Overall, the majority of respondents (all sizes) said they are participating in initiatives focused on value-based care. Only 9% of respondents said they are not yet participating in any such initiatives.

Not surprisingly, larger healthcare systems are farther ahead of the curve in this area, with 31% of large system respondents and 36% of medium system respondents saying the majority of their business is focused on the movement toward value. Only 18% of smaller system respondents selected this response.

 

 

 

 

2. Big data barriers

When asked about the use of big data to improve healthcare quality and reduce healthcare costs, all respondents (regardless of size), indicated positive movement in this area, with 61% saying they "have come a long way but still have a lot of work to do in this area." Only 5% of respondents indicated they are doing "very little" when it comes to applying big data to improve quality/reduce costs.

Larger organizations were the most likely to say their organization is using big data "very well" and that it is "making a big impact" (13%), followed closely by medium-sized organizations (12%). Only 6% of smaller organizations selected this response.

 

 

 

3. Technology tools

Larger systems appear to be using a wider variety of technology devices in patient care and operations, however, smaller organizations aren't too far behind.

Overall, 68% of respondents said they are using patient registries, 53% said they are using business intelligence analytics, 50% said they are using health information exchanges, 48% said they are using remote health monitoring/telemedicine, and 40% said they are using applications that alert providers to gaps in patient care.

The largest gaps in technology utilization between healthcare systems of different sizes were in the areas of remote health monitoring and business intelligence analytics. Sixty-three percent of large systems said they use remote health monitoring/telemedicine, while only 40% of smaller organizations and 54% of medium-sized organizations said they did so. Seventy-five percent of large organizations said they are using business intelligence analytics, while only 47% of small organizations and 51% of medium-sized organizations said they are.

 

 

 

4. Consumerism

Organizations of all sizes appear to be stepping up their customer service experts and their consumer outreach efforts, with 70% of respondents saying customer experience improvement was a top priority, and 56% saying increasing consumer outreach is a top priority.

The same percentage of respondents (about one-third) across small, medium, and large systems said increasing cost transparency was a top priority.

However, there appears to be a large gap in how smaller organizations and larger organizations are prioritizing financial counseling with patients. Only 15% of large systems said it was a top area of focus, while 29% of smaller organizations said it was.

 

 

 

 

 

5. Consolidation impact

Respondents (regardless of size) were split when it came to evaluating how the increasing consolidation of providers and payers would impact healthcare costs.

Smaller organizations tended to fall on the more negative side of the spectrum (with 69%) saying it would lead to higher costs, and only 24% saying it would lead to lower costs. 

Medium-sized organizations were more positive about consolidation, with 55% saying it would lead to lower healthcare costs and only 37% saying it would lead to higher costs.

Larger organizations were nearly split, with 50% of these organizations saying it would lead to higher costs and 45% saying it would lead to lower costs.