Editorial Publication

11 16 20

What are the biggest opportunities in Healthcare?

Healthcare traditionally has been a recession proof but slow growth industry due to being at the level of regulation only slightly less than airlines.  The enormous regulations stifle ground breaking, hiring of clinicians, insurance participation, and even referrals regarding any small business hoping to compete effectively in the healthcare market.

Regulatory relief is the traditional harbinger of healthcare opportunities.  In the past, relief around integration of payment models, providers, and information created new opportunities now manifested as HMOs, medical group practices in subspecialty areas, as well as the health IT industry.  Regulatory relief of today is centering on COVID related relief through sustainable suspension of traditional barriers to entry for healthcare enterprise, increased healthcare provider immunity for high throughput strategies, and new technologies around therapeutics driven by testing technologies.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What are the trends in clinician recruitment?

Clinician recruitment has suffered historically due to the shortage of clinicians, now exacerbated by difficulties in immigration and increased demand for healthcare services as pandemic conditions take hold along with the general aging of the baby boomer population.  The shortage of healthcare providers leads to decreased patient to provider ratios, burning out providers while creating risk for facilities trying to raise revenue through increased throughput.

Regulatory relief regarding clinician practice has brought new opportunities for clinician recruitment.  Exemptions for healthcare providers in new immigration related orders, decreased scope of practice restrictions, turning the US medical licensure exam into pass/fail, and improved relief regarding maintenance of certification.  Further changes in prior authorization approval, maintenance of licensure, and telemedicine may increase access to clinicians further.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What accreditation, licensure changes should we expect

​Accreditation and licensure requirements have long been criticized for being overly burdensome on innovation and solving the shortage of healthcare.  As a result of overly burdensome requirements, providers are retiring, leaving practice, or not entering practice at all to the detriment of the shortage of healthcare for patients.

Relief of accreditation and licensure requirements has gone a long way in increasing access to healthcare.  It is expected that further changes to maintenance of certification, suspension of CON laws, and decreased scope of practice restrictions will increase private practice activity as well as new innovative small business in healthcare as pandemic restrictions ease.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What are the biggest trends in healthcare and concerns?

​Healthcare has seen enormous upheaval from the latest pandemic resulting in dramatic changes patients receive their care.  As a result of this upheaval, patients now find it more difficult to access required screenings, relatives in the hospital including incompetent ones, and providers who are accountable to mistakes.

The stabilization measures taken after the pandemic to address supply concerns have started to bring about some relief to the upheaval.  Telemedicine, lower drug costs, and re-opening of outpatient facilities have restored many care services trending towards pre-pandemic levels or beyond that.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What are the biggest mistakes HCP facilities make?

​Healthcare facilities have generally suffered from a lack of preparedness for major crises as shown greatly during pandemic shortage of PPE.  As a result of this lack of  preparedness, major disasters tend to overwhelm local healthcare facilities, resulting in the need for heroic efforts both inside and outside the facility to save patients denied care access.

Preparedness measures by healthcare facilities following the pandemic have made great steps in averting or mitigating further knock on effects from the pandemic as well as several other kinds of disasters.  While the work is not done, disaster preparedness by healthcare facilities ensures adequate safety for healthcare providers, therapeutic supply for patients, as well as access to providers when needed.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What is the biggest reason healthcare so expensive?

The complexity of healthcare spending decreases transparency around what patients pay for ultimately.  This lack of transparency ultimately results in surprise bills to patients who had no idea that a service they received was not covered or too expensive.

Measures for transparency around surprise billing have addressed some of the cost concerns around healthcare.  These measures require drug companies to charge no more than they do for overseas customers, healthcare providers to warn patients of surprise bills,  and more publications understandable services to help patients understand what they are paying for.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What is the best way to reach disparate special populations?

​Disparate special populations have historically suffered the most unequal access to affordable high quality care worsened under pandemic conditions.  As a result of the unequal access, special population people suffer from higher incidence of disease including those who are women, minority, LGBTQ, socioeconomically disadvantages, people with disability, and people with mental illness.

Measures to address disparities have started to end historical inequality by increasing access to these community by addressing common barriers of language, culture, and prejudice.  Finding the right platforms to reach these groups while approaching with the right message of language translation, cultural competence, and ending stereotypes continue to an important means to ensure access to quality affordable care for everyone.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

What about COVID and what will happen?

The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue to disrupt normal commerce even for healthcare itself.  Patients have been unable to access effectively other services for a litany of many other conditions.

Restriction easing has allowed for patients to find alternate means to access healthcare through telemedicine, visits with restriction, and calculated risk for care delay.  Ultimately, patients may be able to find a means under the easing of restrictions to only be restricted if they fall into a high risk category through testing or other narrow criteria.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Stay to a code of conduct

Too many healthcare organizations fall out of compliance with rules meant to ensure equal treatment of people, but too much discrimination in the care environment persists.  Unfortunately, this discrimination results in disparate treatment of patients and caregivers alike.  

Anti-discrimination code of conduct policies increase integrity and deter wrongdoing.  It ensures the following-

Compliance with laws

Adherence to ethical standards

Client focus

Non-discrimination

Confidentiality

Records

Avoidance of conflict of interests

Business relationship appropriateness based on fair competitive practice

Occupational safety

Clinical research ethics

Ethical Organ Donation and Transplant

​Gender Selection Ethics

Ethical Assisted Reproduction

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Stay organized for HCP Alignment

​Unfortunately, healthcare organizations continue to struggle to get organized on the clinical side as healthcare providers tasked with organizing are too busy seeing patients or performing non-administrative tasks.  As a result of poor administration, too many important organizational issues are missed from a clinical standpoint until they become an issue, and patients suffer the consequences as clinicians deliberate too late how to address systemic issues.

Organized Committee Formation gives a platform to leaders within the clinician community to deliberate systemic problems and address them before they arise.   Committees may include the following areas:

 

Quality and Patient Safety

  • Ensuring systems and policies are in place to improve quality

  • Assess safety risks and take action

  • Review evaluation report on quality indicators

  • Ensure that actions are taken to improve quality

  • Ensure that processes are in place to facilitate quality implementation

  • Recommend and provide quality training programs

 

 

Safety

  • Conduct risk assessments

  • Conduct safety audits

  • Implement safety programs

  • Provide technical advice to improve the facility environment

  • Develop plans for the management of HazMat and waste

  • Develop plans for fire safety and general safety/security

 

Infection Prevention and Control

  • Develops standards for infection prevention and control

  • Provides training for infection control professionals and other healthcare workers

  • Develops evaluation strategies, measures, and indicators for infection prevention and control

  • Supervise surveillance of infection risks

 

Pharmacy and Therapeutics

  • Recommends on the policy regarding safe and effective prescribing

  • Reviews medication usage

  • Monitors prescribing practices

  • Establishes and maintains a preferred prescribing guide or hospital formulary

 

Medical Records

  • Ensure accurate and complete medical records are available to patients and kept

  • Determine the standards and policies for a medical record service or department

  • Control new and existing medical record forms

 

Clinical Privileging

  • Guides clinical and advisory committees

  • Advises the medical director on clinical services

  • Advises the medical director on the minimum credential necessary

  • Advises the hospital director on information to be requested of clinician applicants

  • Accepts requests for credentialing and defines clinical privileging

  • Ensures credentials are reviewed and verified

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Don't make quality assessments a one off activity

​The explosion of quality standards guidelines, some of them conflicting and confusing, from multiple stakeholders creates a hysteria of regulations that healthcare providers struggle to comply with.  As a result of over-regulation, quality standards are often omitted or missed in the chaotic environment of intense clinical practice.

Streamlining of standards allows for a deliberate approach to ensuring the overall goal of quality is met.  Organizations should consider avoiding quality being a “One off” activity by implementing a “Quality Improvement Cycle” consisting of:

  • Planning changes

  • Implementing changes

  • Measuring Current Performance

  • Analyzing the Results

  • Planning future changes

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Communicate Effectively 

Healthcare providers caught off guard by changing circumstance often find themselves facing dire consequence from miscommunication.  This miscommunication results in resistance to change, lost trust, and failed initiatives which ultimately prevent the provider from serving patients effectively.

 

Planned communications go a long way towards ensuring mutual trust, respect, and acceptance when communicating.  A communications plan should include:

  • Who needs the information – include staff, board members, and committees

  • What information is needed – make sure the information is relevant to the audience

  • How will the information be delivered – make sure that the audience goes to where the information is delivered

  • Who will convey the information – The person delivering the information should be appropriately authoritative for the audience

  • When will the information be given - Assign specific dates so the plan can be monitored

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

Don't miss out on interest free credits and grants for healthcare providers

​While healthcare providers struggle with lost revenue from the pandemic, many are not aware of many interest free credit and grant opportunities.  This lack of awareness results in stagnant money unused for its intended purpose while patients and providers alike suffer from a lack of appropriate facility.

Education about intertest free credits and grant opportunities have gone a long way towards helping healthcare providers avail of allocated money.  Taking advantage of these programs, many healthcare providers have become enduringly solvent to serve their patients even in the most trying circumstances.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Don't forget important job descriptions to plan for when budgeting

​Healthcare providers are rightly focused on patient care, but the lack of administrative support in the budgeting process results in administrative roadblocks bottlenecking patients at the worst possible times.

Careful budgeting for administrative support roles has pre-empted many avoidable systemic hurdles for patients.  Careful attention to legal support, book-keeping, and collections has created for many facilities an environment that is more seamless than could have been.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant

11 16 20

Don't miss important raw data in operations management

The lack of raw data in terms of facts, clinical measurements, and observations often leaves providers without insights before they need it most.  This lack of data ultimately results in patients suffering the consequences of poor decision making of people without the right information.

 

Seamless planning of data collection creates the conditions for making successful pre-emptive insights.  Data on M&M, incidents, and patient outcomes for the major disease burden can go a long way towards making sure providers are on the same page when it comes to where the overall mission stands.

Jonjy Ananth, MD MBA

Boston Mantra Consultant