March 1, 2010

Multiple factors are rapidly converging to push the US health care delivery to the brink of insolvency, and even Congress is growing concerned about being at the wheel. Better care at lower cost is quickly becoming the mantra that guides policy makers in their implementation of healthcare reform legislation, and will need to become a higher priority for healthcare leaders. In their article Reducing Costs, recently published in the March 2010 issue of Trustee Magazine, authors Rita E. Numerof, Ph.D., President, Michael N. Abrams, M.A., Managing Partner, and Bill Ott, M.B.A., Senior Consultant, offer some fresh perspectives on this perennial challenge for healthcare delivery.
The formulaic approaches to cost reduction that have been so popular over the past decade like Six Sigma or lean have one thing in common: the assumption that providing common tools to all managers will yield improved outcomes. The reality is both simpler and more difficult. This article explains what’s really needed to achieve outcomes like cost reduction (and longer term strategic goals, too) — and how to get the most for what you’re already spending.