Update: New and Recurring Challenges for Hospitals 2015

On a blog post back in June 2014, titled Top Challenges for Regional Hospitals 2014, we looked at many different issues hospitals were having. Financial challenges, healthcare reform implementation, and government mandates seemed to be the biggest problems. Currently, rising costs are still the main challenge for hospitals and physicians, yet some have been more unexpected than others.

Main Challenges for Hospitals 2015


Rising Treatment Costs for Patients

The Affordable Care Act in 2015 has helped to increase insurance plans and expand Medicaid. Coverage is at 86%, up 4% from last year, yet patients still expect providers to reduce their costs and use these rising costs as a reason for forgoing treatment.


ICD-10 Issues

For one, ICD-10, which is supposed to be implemented in October 2015, will bring about many new changes for hospitals. “For Arnette Marbella, director of HIM and CDM revenue cycle at Tufts Medical Center, it’s the ICD-10 limbo that’s concerning from a financial perspective.” Healthcare systems now have to worry about compliance to government and local standards in terms of correct coding and clinical documentation.


RAC, CMS Audits are Time Consuming

These programs are used as a “cost containment effort aimed at reducing improper payments within Medicare programs as well as identifying process improvements to reduce or eliminate future improper payments.” While these audits are necessary, there is a lack of staff and proper technology to perform them, which results in stressful and tedious processes.


Lack of Motivation

Increasing administrative demands has been keeping physicians away from their patients and draining their energy, leaving them less motivated and able to work to their full potential. While a bigger paycheck can help, those working in the healthcare industry must have an intrinsic motivation as well.


Healthcare CEOs Retiring

There are too many baby boomers who hold CEO and executive positions who will be retiring in the coming years, with no one to fill their spots. According to BHM Healthcare Solutions Consultant Abby Norman, “the upward trend of loss of leadership in healthcare has been climbing or at the very least holding steady around 15% since the mid-eighties.”

The healthcare industry faces serious risk with these challenges, especially with rising costs and a lack of proper physicians. How will hospitals tackle these problems in order to maintain satisfied patients?