Our Fall kickoff meeting of Health Tech Net featured a presentation on the emerging trend of Clinical Service Lines. Clinical Service Lines are a way of joining similar services around diseases (e.g. cancer) or other care dimensions (e.g. women’s health) in an effort to better connect with key customers and deliver a better-coordinated set of services. Historically it has primarily been a strategic planning technique but is slowly becoming a better way of managing healthcare that cuts across the medical continuum in logical ways. There are numerous factors driving this trend, not the least of which is the aging of the population and the emerging dominance of chronic care.
Clinical service lines continue to evolve in healthcare despite loud critics who raise concerns about complexity. While a few integrated health systems are quite advanced in their implementation of service line management, many others are stuck attempting to do so or have simply avoided it thus far. A key barrier is technology and the lack of timely information that is required to effectively manage such initiatives. This session will examine some of the potential benefits of such a strategic focus in healthcare and various technology implications of such an approach.
The session was led by Scott Mason of SKM Enterprises, who is a strategy advisor to health systems around the country and whose work in the past decade has focused on growth and enterprise strategic plans. He was joined by Joe Bormel of Quadramed and others in the group with experience in this area.
We also had an update and discussion of the development of risk-adjusted DRGs by CMS, and a presentation for former DHHS Secretary Richard Schweiker on the current political climate surrounding the upcoming elections.