The Human-Centered Health Blog

AVA: February 2023


AVA: Ask Vic Anything


How can you claim that many Health Systems will close with high patient volumes and an aging population?

Vic: This was the most common question last month.  I agree there’s a growing need for healthcare services. However, Health Systems face cost challenges, not a shortage of patient demand. In short, operating costs are growing 4-6x faster than revenue. To succeed, leadership teams must evolve mindsets and band together. Some teams will, but I expect many will not.


How can regional non-profits prepare?

Vic: CEOs and health system leadership teams should work quickly to educate themselves and evaluate their specific position. How long is your cash runway?  Take inventory of your system’s assets and advantages that can be used to create new revenue sources and cut expenses while maintaining high-quality patient care.


How can our health system find peers looking to collaborate?

Vic: Health System leaders need to identify peer systems or friendly merger partners quickly. The challenges are great, and there will be safety in numbers. Consider joining the Jumpstart Regional Leader Network or assembling your own collaborative peer group. There are hundreds of systems in the same situation. Seek to learn from others’ perspectives.  Ideally, you will naturally find peer systems facing the same challenges.  Consider joining me at the Vive conference in Nashville in March. If you plan to be there, I will gladly introduce you to other health system executives.


Are more disruptions coming on the horizon? 

Vic: Yes – the pace of change is accelerating, and I expect to see new challenges in the future. I assessed GPTChat and was surprised by its accuracy and fluency. It seems inevitable that AI technologies will eventually find application in healthcare. However, caution for patient safety and tight regulation will rightly slow healthcare adoption. To explore these issues, I did an HCH podcast with Bud Flagstad, CEO of Care Angel.  It is the first of many new machine learning and data science products to deliver healthcare safely and legally. I expect more technologies to bring both disruption and opportunity to health systems.


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