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Analysis

Deloitte 2017 survey of US health system CEOs

Moving forward in an uncertain environment

​CEOs at hospitals and health systems are faced with increasing headwinds as they look to move forward in an uncertain environment. So what are the key issues and trends CEOs are facing? We interviewed 20 health system CEOs in May 2017 to find out. While none of the key themes emerging from our interviews have really changed since we last spoke with health system CEOs in 2015, the urgency certainly has. Instead of thinking about these issues in a futuristic sense, CEOs are ready to address and tackle them now. Explore this series to learn more.

Hospital CEOs identify trends that need to be urgently addressed

Turnover among hospital and health system chief executive officers (CEOs) is higher than in other industries. Along with navigating ever-changing policies and regulations, hospital CEOs must work with multiple payers, meet community obligations, stay current with evolving technology, contend with complex staffing issues, and keep their doctors and board members happy—all while delivering high-quality care.

As a follow-up to our 2015 Deloitte Center for Health Solutions Survey of US Health System CEOs, we interviewed 20 health system CEOs to uncover key issues and trends that are top-of-mind. Over the course of the next several months, we will be releasing the top trends as a series of short-form reports on the following issues:

  • Preparing for potentially changing Medicaid reimbursement models and other policy issues (available now, see below for more)
  • Implementing population health and value-based care
  • Maintaining or improving margins
  • Recruiting and retaining top talent, including health care leaders
  • Keeping up with evolving technology and cybersecurity risks
  • Adapting to changing consumer demands and expectations

We encourage you to bookmark this page and check back over the coming months to explore the series as CEOs look to move forward in an uncertain environment.

While none of the key themes emerging from our interviews have really changed since we last spoke with health system CEOs in 2015, the urgency certainly has. Instead of thinking about these issues in a futuristic sense, CEOs are ready to address and tackle them now.

Medicaid reimbursement

Chapter 1: Uncertainty about the future of Medicaid and health care policy

Eighty-five percent of the 20 CEOs we surveyed cite uncertainty about the future of the Medicaid program as a top concern. If Congress rolls back the Medicaid expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act, or otherwise reduces federal funding, CEOs are worried that they will see an increase in uninsured patients. What are CEOs focusing on to address Medicaid concerns?

Population health

Chapter 2: Population health and value-based care

The move to value-based care hasn't been overnight, but it’s now more important than ever for CEOs to have strategies in place as value-based care and population health speed up. How are CEOs investing in strategies to prepare for value-based care, including increased funding for primary care practitioners and chronic-disease management? How can hospitals better partner with health plans?

Margins/operational performance

Chapter 3: Margin pressure and the search for new revenue streams

CEOs are keenly focused on margin improvement, and seeking strategies to prepare their organizations in an uncertain and somewhat challenging environment. How are CEOs diversifying by selling innovations and looking to new care sites as a way to get ahead? What alternative revenue streams come into play?

Talent

Chapter 4: Recruiting and retaining top talent

Investing in the future will be key to hospitals’ and health systems’ futures. How are CEOs planning to recruit and retain the best physicians, leaders, and even IT and data talent? How are CEOs addressing challenges around physician burnout?

Technology

Chapter 5: Keeping up with evolving technology and cybersecurity risks

Technology is constantly evolving, and while it provides great opportunities to advance patient care, it also presents new risks for cyber attacks. How are CEOs balancing the need to innovate, while maintaining secure systems? How are CEOs integrating electronic health records (EHRs) and decisions support systems? And, what’s next as we look to the future of telehealth?

Consumerism

Chapter 6: Adapting to changing consumer demands and expectations

As the health care landscape has evolved, so have its users. Disruptors, regulatory changes, and customers’ experiences in other industries all impact the expectations and preferences of today’s health care customer. How are CEOs adapting to these changes to meet new demands?

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