We recently had the opportunity in Chicago to participate in a roundtable discussion with four prominent hospital CEOs as well as the CEO of Medline and SCA. The hospital CEOs highlighted the following key issues for the acute care hospital industry:

  • Each of the CEOs expressed that they spend significant amounts of their time communicating with patients, physicians and other stakeholders about the realities of healthcare reform and the changes that it will bring to the healthcare system. The hospital CEOs are planning ways to communicate to uninsured and underinsured patients the need to access new insurance options through health insurance exchanges and other avenues.
  • Executive leadership is clearly a high priority and key concern for all hospital CEOs. Many are planning internal leadership transitions as well as seeking to bring in new leaders from other industries.
  • In the coming years, hospitals’ primary mission will change from their traditional role of providers of acute care to a new role of ensuring community health. This change will be forced by bundling of hospital payments with pre- and post-discharge care, private and Medicare “accountable care organizations” and new models for care of patients with chronic disease. 

Investors in the healthcare industry are examining ways to fund companies that will partner with hospitals in tackling the challenges associate with healthcare reform. A key investment focus spurred by health reform is health care IT – here deal volume has been increasing as hospitals continue to invest heavily in HCIT solutions in order to position their business to survive in the post-health reform world.   Earlier this year, for example, Doximity secured a $10.8 million Series A investment from Emergence Capital Partners and InterWest Partners – Doximity is a provider of a free communication platform that links medical professionals to other professionals via mobile devices or computers, JMI Equity acquired a minority interest in PointClickCare, a long-term care EMR company, and Riverside Partners completed a majority investment in Eliassen Group, an IT staffing and clinical data management consulting firm.