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Clinical Quality & Efficiency Key To Thriving In Value-based Reimbursement Environment (Graphic: Business Wire)

Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ: HURN), a leading provider of business consulting services, today announced the release of a new Huron Healthcare report entitled, “Inventing the Future of Healthcare: Top CEOs on the Real Work of Transforming the Healthcare Industry, Insights from the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum.”

The report provides perspectives from more than 30 executives of the leading hospital, health system and academic medical centers who participated in the third annual Huron Healthcare CEO Forum. At the Forum, the CEOs discussed the most pressing challenges, greatest opportunities, and strategies for maintaining high performance in 2013 and beyond.

“Today’s healthcare market is incredibly dynamic and this industry has experienced unparalleled change in the past few years,” said Gordon Mountford, executive vice president, Huron Healthcare. “CEOs shared their thoughts and perspectives on the current and future state of the healthcare industry, as well as their strategies for coping with the current environment and adapting new ways to thrive. Their commitment to making improvements in the quality and affordability of care in this country is admirable.”

Key issues discussed by the CEOs at the Forum and featured in the report include:

1) Transitioning Organizational Focus and Capabilities to Move from Volume to Value: The transition to value-based care delivery will require significant changes in culture, capabilities, and business structures.

“Everyone must work on changing their culture as we move from fee-for-service to value-based payment models. It's like moving from our success on the first curve to where we land on the second curve. The key question is, how do you retain focus on core competencies for success while stimulating progress?” - Dan Wolterman, president & CEO, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

2) Lowering Costs while Improving Quality: Significantly reducing costs allows organizations to make the capital investments needed to shift to value-based approaches. One area of exploration is new business models that hold the promise of lowering costs while improving quality.

“We know that incentives will soon begin to reward value-based and accountable care. A few organizations are aggressively trying to manage the health of the populations they serve because it's the right thing to do. In the not too distant future, it is going to be imperative. It is extremely challenging work.” - Patrick Charmel, president & CEO, Griffin Health Services Corporation

3) New Approaches to Care Delivery and Patient Relationships: A more patient-centered approach to care delivery with a broad focus on wellness will be imperative in a post-reform landscape.

“We are working on driving clinical quality up through primary care. Patient access to primary care physicians is crucial. In addition to the clinical benefits, patient satisfaction goes way up when patients have easy access to their primary care physician.” - David Bernd, CEO, Sentara Healthcare, CEO Forum Co-Chair

4) Stakeholder Alignment: Organizations well-positioned to thrive will align economic and clinical efforts across the entire continuum of care with all stakeholders – from physicians to board members to patients to frontline staff. These stakeholders will all benefit from the common goals of quality, efficiency and cost reduction.

“Doctors want to be connected; the challenge is to get strategic alignment. That’s the culture shift that needs to happen over time – and it's a tough one.” - Michael Dowling, president & CEO, North Shore-LIJ Health System, and Huron Healthcare CEO Forum Chair

5) Leading and Engaging Stakeholders: The list of initiatives under way – quality, cost-effectiveness, cost reduction initiatives, performance improvement goals, workforce optimization, etc. – in hospitals at any one time can overwhelm stakeholders. The key to engaging and leading stakeholders involves setting clear priorities and making sure the organization stays focused on those priorities.

“You can't do it all. You can't say ‘Our number one priority is…’ and then list five things. We build our stakeholder messages around patient-centeredness. We fit everything we’re doing under that umbrella. It gives us the ability to help the organization feel there is not too much going on, when clearly there is too much going on.” - David Feinberg, CEO & associate vice chancellor, UCLA Hospital System and Health Sciences

Attendees at the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum represented a broad range of organizations, from larger multi-hospital systems to academic medical centers to smaller community hospitals, and across urban and rural communities. Huron Healthcare’s CEO Forum report also shares valuable insights on transformative leadership and innovation from the more than 30 CEO attendees, and from top business leaders, Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc.; and Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom Inc.

“As they continue to thoughtfully lead through the complexity and uncertainty of today’s post-reform environment, hospital CEOs are truly shaping the future of healthcare by improving the quality and affordability of care delivery,” said Dr. Andy Ziskind, managing director and Clinical solutions leader, Huron Healthcare.

Inventing the Future of Healthcare: Top CEOs on the Real Work of Transforming the Healthcare Industry, Insights from the Huron Healthcare CEO Forum is available for download at www.HealthcareCEOForum.com.

About Huron Healthcare

Huron Healthcare partners with clients to provide comprehensive performance improvement solutions that improve quality, increase revenue, reduce expenses, and increase physician, patient, and employee satisfaction across the healthcare enterprise. Clients include national and regional integrated healthcare systems, leading academic medical centers, community hospitals and physician practices. Modern Healthcare ranked Huron Healthcare third on its 2012 list of the largest healthcare management consulting firms. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com/healthcare or follow us on Twitter: @Huron.

About Huron Consulting Group

Huron Consulting Group helps clients in diverse industries improve performance, comply with complex regulations, reduce costs, recover from distress, leverage technology, and stimulate growth. The Company teams with its clients to deliver sustainable and measurable results. Huron provides services to a wide variety of both financially sound and distressed organizations, including healthcare organizations, Fortune 500 companies, leading academic institutions, medium-sized businesses, and the law firms that represent these various organizations. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com.



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