Sunday, February 28, 2010

Many challenges in 2010

The Post-Standard asked me a couple questions for its annual Progress Edition, which appeared last week. The paper set a 75-word maximum for each question. There were ten of us who participated in the Q&A involving ten economic sectors, and we more or less complied with the word rationing.

I didn't see the Q&A in the newspaper's print edition, but it did appear online. Here's what I said:

What key challenge or trend will health care face in 2010?

Hospitals face many challenges -- pressures to reduce lengths of stay, infections, and other complications; payers that reimburse hospitals below our costs; state taxes on hospital revenues; the high cost of sophisticated technology; an aging Central New York population; and an aging medical community.

How will that affect your own institution in 2010?

We have many initiatives: controlling infections and other complications, managing length of stay, and reducing costs. For clinical improvement, we have a new Orthopedics Center of Excellence; the city's most active daVinci robot; and a growing bariatric service. We've received honors for prostate surgery, maternity services, and orthopedics (HealthGrades); for low infection rates (Consumer Reports); and for spine and joint surgery (Excellus). To avoid duplicate investments and achieve more efficiency, we're exploring a merger with Crouse Hospital -- the larger operating scale would help us work with physicians on common challenges.

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