Redefining the Hospital (one step at a time)

Tomorrow’s Today’s health care organizations need to offer more services than what have been traditionally offered.

Services that, today, are not necessarily revenue positive—some call them mission-based. (Right now) It’s about making the people in the communities those organizations serve healthier.  From the Duluth News Tribune:

The record player speaker crackles with big band tunes as exercises commence.

Every Tuesday and Friday morning, 12 seniors stop by to practice a series of exercises — from volleying balloons to holding up their feet while sitting — designed to strengthen muscles that help them balance.

Most say they definitely have seen results.

“I had some bad falls,” said Ted Barker, 85, of Duluth. Since joining the year-old class, the lanky man’s gait is straight and steady, and he hasn’t fallen.

“I feel I’m much better off,” Barker said. “This is a great thing.”

The class is part of a grander shift at the clinic to become more patient-friendly.

So we all know the problem that arises when health care providers offer non-traditional services that help people: they don’t get paid.  Making the business case on an individual level to individual patients can be helpful individually—but that possibility does little to improve the health of the community as a whole (not to mention producing negligible results in the cost-savings department).

The physician’s focus may be at an individual level—that’s fine.  The organization’s (hospitals, clinics, etc.) focus must be both individual and collective.  It’s just that our system necessitates an organization prove a service’s efficacy in order to be considered reimbursable.  Wait, it does?

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