Below are key takeaways for what is top of mind for CSOs and what you need to know going into your next conversation with them:
1. Grappling with workforce and labor: CSOs have concerns around not being able to staff beds even when there’s an opportunity to expand with new facilities, as well as with high turnover, and increased workforce violence. One even noted that violence has gotten so bad that they are seeing RNs want to move to inpatient psych where weapons aren’t allowed.
2. Solidifying financial performance: Many CSOs are focused on cost-cutting initiatives, often with the help of external consultants. Most of the health systems at the forum were working with the Big Four consultants, although only some are seeing the value (others complain about getting the same slide decks with just the name of the system changed). Non-profits are being told by finance leaders that they can’t grow with new facilities and programs until they perform better.
3. Defining future growth paths for Leading Health Systems: CSOs are often pursuing 5-10 different "growth paths," each with its own set of complexities and tradeoffs. While they explore strategies such as growth through new care delivery areas, improving consumer experience, or expanding into new markets, they are continuing to navigate limited resources and the need for internal transformation to succeed in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.
4. Defending against ongoing market disruption: CSOs are continuing to watch national disruptors in the industry, although they still see the biggest impact to volumes from local, PE-backed groups rather than national players. Meanwhile, the future of the patient-physician relationship is uncertain, with debates on the importance of long-term primary care relationships and the potential for segmentation. CSOs grapple with redefining primary care-as-a-service (like other SaaS models) and addressing cost and access challenges in the evolving healthcare system.
5. Identifying the potential for AI to transform healthcare: CSOs are concerned about the safety of AI models like ChatGPT and the challenges of ensuring their continued usage. They are also exploring alternatives to Epic's monopoly on health data and are keen on leveraging AI to transform healthcare while emphasizing the need for robust change management and patient-friendly AI entry points into the healthcare system.