2017 Healthcare of Tomorrow Breakout Sessions

The Future of Value-Based Care
With the fate of the Affordable Care Act uncertain, will hospitals still prioritize moving from volume- to value-based payment models? Many experts believe that the shift to value will move forward no matter what, especially with the prospect of reduced federal funding only further motivating providers to find less costly ways to deliver quality care with better outcomes. Indeed, a number of major insurers, hospitals and health systems have reiterated their long-term commitment to pursuing value over fee-for-service models. Several approaches are being tested, including accountable care organizations, bundled payments, and risk-based contracting. Panelists will explore the future of value-based care and what forms it will most likely take in the years ahead.

The Rx for Physician Burnout
A growing number of healthcare providers are losing their doctors to burnout, as clinicians face more stress, long hours and increasing regulatory and productivity demands. A 2015 Mayo Clinic study found that more than half of U.S. doctors experience at least one symptom of burnout, and dissatisfaction has significantly worsened in recent years. Hospitals and patients also feel the effects of this trend, which contributes to lower patient satisfaction, greater staff turnover and potentially dangerous impacts on the quality of care. A number of institutions are at the forefront of tackling this challenge by implementing burnout prevention programs, adding administrative support, utilizing technology, forming care teams, creating peer support groups and more. Gain insight about strategies that providers can take to reduce attrition and maintain safety and quality.

Providing Care and Coverage: The Risks and Rewards
Many major health systems have developed their own health insurance plans, taking on risk while gaining new revenue streams and opportunities to direct the care of their patient populations. In addition, a number of employers have forged direct partnerships with providers with the goal of reducing costs for both firms and patients. Such efforts have shown advantages and challenges. Amid great uncertainty in health insurance policy at the federal and state levels, this session will explore lessons learned from several cutting-edge health insurance pioneers.

Beyond the Hospital: Transforming Care Delivery
As the population ages and chronic health conditions affect a greater number of individuals, healthcare providers are exploring myriad ways to deliver more cost-efficient and high-quality care outside the traditional hospital. Many institutions are accelerating the growth of ambulatory and urgent care centers, as well as partnering with nontraditional health players on retail clinics and community-based programs. Others are implementing home-based diagnostic and treatment options or virtual care centers that take full advantage of telemedicine, remote monitoring and other tools to provide more convenient care. This session will explore several promising approaches to changing the tertiary care model to reduce readmissions, save costs and maintain quality.

Improving the Patient Experience
As hospitals strive for higher quality care, their customers are also demanding that the way it is delivered – the overall patient experience – is the best it can possibly be. As patient satisfaction scores are reported publicly and play a role in a hospital’s bottom line under value-based purchasing standards, providers are refocusing efforts to instill a patient-first mentality. By adding patient experience officers to the C-suite, improving communication and interactions between patients and caregivers, and tapping convenient new technology like apps and digital portals, hospitals are upping their customer service. Panelists will examine the opportunities and obstacles to developing strong patient experience models.

Leveraging Community Partners in Population Health
At many healthcare institutions, moving toward a population-based care delivery model is a top priority. But navigating that path isn’t always easy, given the costs, reimbursement options and logistical challenges of such an approach. In addition to redesigning service lines and embracing telemedicine and new technological tools, both adult and children’s health systems are finding success by enlisting the community and developing partnerships with government agencies, schools, and community health organizations. Hear from several healthcare executives and partners who have found success in implementing promising population health initiatives.

Policy Roundtable: Eye on Medicaid
Policymakers in Washington and across state capitals are wrestling with the future of Medicaid, which covers approximately 20 percent of the nation’s population. With proposed changes to the program’s funding structure entailing either per capita allotments or block grants for each state, hospitals could face financial strains. Join government policymakers and industry experts as they discuss how healthcare providers can anticipate and adapt to any upcoming changes in Medicaid reimbursements, eligibility and benefits.

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health
As hospitals and health systems seek to better manage population health, they are also working to understand and address the so-called social determinants of health – poverty, education, the environment – that can have a major impact on the cost and quality of care. By working with policymakers, forging partnerships with social services organizations, and expanding community health assessments and education programs, healthcare organizations can help tackle the complicated web of challenges that affect everyone from urban homeless patients to those in rural areas battling complex chronic diseases. Join several healthcare leaders who are making great strides in addressing the social determinants of health.

The Telemedicine Revolution
Telehealth continues to grow more popular among both hospitals and the people they serve. More than half of hospitals use telemedicine to connect with and monitor patients remotely, and many consumers, particularly younger ones, favor providers with telehealth capabilities over those without. In addition to improving the patient experience, telemedicine is helping healthcare providers across the country increase access to care, reduce readmission rates and save costs. Yet expanding telehealth is complex, costly and requires considerable involvement from clinicians, payers, regulators and others. Hear from several telemedicine innovators about the path to building a successful telehealth infrastructure.

Tapping the Potential of Artificial Intelligence
Just as it promises to transform business, technology, and other industries, artificial intelligence is beginning to make an impact in healthcare. Computers are becoming increasingly capable at analyzing vast amounts of health data and using predictive analytics to model possible options for both personalized and population-based care. Though widespread adoption and clinical application remains elusive, some hospitals and healthcare providers around the globe are working to implement AI in a number of areas. Panelists will explore AI’s current potential to improve care and increase efficiencies.

The Power of Precision Medicine
Personalized medicine has moved from theory into clinical practice. Labs can look at patients’ genes to determine who may be at higher risk for disease, tumors can be screened for known mutations enabling more effective use of drugs. Equally promising, some three-quarters of new cancer medicines being developed can potentially be used in personalized treatment. And applications of precision medicine are expanding into new areas like radiotherapy. Yet despite these advances, commitment to precision medicine as a strategic focus seems largely concentrated in academic health systems. Our panel will assess where we are now with precision medicine and what the practical obstacles are to wider implementation in health systems.

A Status Report on Bundled Payments
In the move from a fee-for-service system, bundling payments has emerged as a promising approach to controlling costs and incentivizing providers to treat episodes of care. Hundreds of hospitals have piloted bundled programs on their own and through several nationwide CMS initiatives. However, it is far from a simple solution for all patients, particularly those with chronic diseases and unforeseen complications. This session will explore how such alternative payment models can be most effective and how providers can take advantage of bundled payments in the move toward value-based care.



Behavioral Health: The Next Frontier in Pediatric Care
Up to 1 in 5 American children have some kind of mental or behavioral health issue requiring professional care each year. For children’s hospitals, the diagnosis and treatment of a wide spectrum of conditions such as autism, mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse and toxic stress is becoming an increasingly significant part of their portfolios. While a consensus has built that early intervention to address such issues can stave off more serious and costly problems later in life, many communities still face shortages of trained specialists and resources and lack the policies that allow for coordinated care of kids in need. Learn about how children’s hospitals can help fill the void in behavioral health services.

The Medically Complex Child: It Takes a Village
Increasingly, children’s hospitals are looking for ways to assemble interdisciplinary teams to treat young patients with complex medical challenges, ranging from cerebral palsy to cancer to congenital heart defects. When children face such multifaceted conditions, hospitals and families must effectively coordinate care between a wide range of personnel and treatment plans. To help, hospitals are revitalizing their service lines and assigning social workers and care managers to assist families. This session will feature several children’s hospitals that have found success in coordinating pediatric care that crosses boundaries to ensure that young patients get the best possible care.

A Winning Combination: Pediatric Partnerships That Work
In an era of both increased competition and consolidation, children’s hospitals are thinking outside the box and joining forces with other community and adult providers. Such partnerships are streamlining the referral and overall care process, giving pediatric patients greater access to in-demand specialists, helping families find more convenient and closer-to-home clinics, and enhancing population health. Hear from several children’s hospital executives who have embraced collaboration to expand and enhance care options.


U.S. News Best Hospitals Rankings:

The U.S. News Rankings: Measuring Systems of Care
The hospital of yesteryear – the self-contained, general acute-care facility – is being replaced by the health system of tomorrow. Well-planned regionalization, as well as establishing triage and referral pathways to centers of excellence, can improve quality, lower costs and ensure access to care. Yet measurement models employed by U.S. News, CMS and others largely continue to evaluate each facility as a separate entity, ignoring the emerging nuances of integrated delivery. In this discussion-oriented session, you’ll hear dueling views on the salience of the approach currently used by U.S. News. Session attendees will then be invited to propose and critique approaches that U.S. News might adopt to measure the quality of regional systems of care.

The U.S. News Rankings: Future Role of the Reputation Survey
To both supporters and detractors, the annual physician survey administered by RTI International on behalf of U.S. News is a hallmark of the Best Hospitals rankings. In this session, Ben Harder, U.S. News’ Chief of Health Analysis, will address reputation’s current place in the methodology – and how its role might change as additional measures of quality become available. Participants will propose alternative paths U.S. News could take, such as reducing reputation’s weight in favor of measures from clinical registries or replacing reputation with a novel measure of research and innovation. Audience members will be invited to weigh in and propose quality measures that could replace reputation.

The U.S. News Rankings: Examining Minimally Invasive Surgery
Studies have identified diverse patient populations that stand to benefit from minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques. Yet despite a considerable body of evidence, adoption of MIS has been slow, spotty and often determined by individual surgeon preference. Three surgical leaders will make a case that U.S. News should drive a culture of adoption of MIS in healthcare by incorporating MIS process measures into its methodologies across a wide range of specialty rankings and procedure ratings. The panel will cover how the measures could be defined, how health systems might respond to such a change, and how unintended consequences could be avoided.

The U.S. News Rankings: Inside the Children’s Hospitals Methodology
For more than a decade, U.S. News has been evaluating children’s hospitals to help parents of the sickest children find the very best care. Putting these institutions under the microscope is more demanding than appraising adult hospitals – and which data to collect and how to interpret it are continual sources of debate. Join the U.S. News health analysis team and our RTI colleagues as we discuss our current methodology and any changes going forward. Attendees are encouraged to come with ideas and feedback.

*Subject to change. As of 4-17-17.


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