Top takeaways from this year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Earlier this month, Ob Hospitalist Group’s Chief Executive Officer Lenny Castiglione and Chief Growth Officer Marc Kerlin attended the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. They met with healthcare system leaders and thought leaders from across the country and discussed trends in hospital care management. Here are five of their biggest takeaways from the event:

  • Hospitals are experiencing increased competition and financial pressures.
  • Health systems of every size have been looking to mergers to drive size and scale to reduce costs.
  • Volume is a key area of focus to drive top-line growth.
  • Hospitals are looking for more ways to standardize care.
  • Healthcare organizations are considering new ways to implement or elevate digital strategies.

Hospitals are looking to volume growth and scale to drive revenue growth and alleviate competitive and financial pressures. OBHG works closely with our partner hospitals to develop and implement strategic plans to increase deliveries and revenue.  The support we provide to local clinicians – allowing them to be more productive in their clinics and reducing burnout – attracts many community physicians and splitters. Our ability to support federally qualified health centers and other local clinics and midwives can also drive revenue growth for hospitals.

Before partnering with OBHG, Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Fayetteville, AR, was at risk of closings its doors after an OB/GYN group planned to leave and take over 50 percent of the hospital’s deliveries. After partnering with OBHG, Willow Creek was able to build its volume and now delivery number numbers are on the rise.

“When that group left, a lot of people in the community thought that Willow Creek was going to go under, and I truly believe that without OBHG’s hospitalist program, there’s a good chance that it would have,” said Harrison Kiser, former assistant chief executive officer of Willow Creek. “But it is back and strong and is still the leading facility for high-risk moms and babies in the northwest Arkansas area.”

As local market competition continues to increase, hospitals look to any competitive offerings to market to their referral network and patients. Many hospitals see the implementation of an OB emergency department (OBED) as a value-add to patients which can set up them up as leaders in the space. Even more hospitals are beginning to see 24/7 OB coverage with the implementation of an OBED as a competitive necessity to keep up with the local market. Beyond volume growth, the implementation of an OBED can also drive revenue growth to offset or even completely fund the program.

Care standardization helps to improve outcomes and reduce costs caused by variability. Within labor and delivery, when the hospital may have several different local practices with privileges, each practicing their own protocols, standardization can be difficult. OBHG has worked with hospitals to develop and implement standard protocols. Through our leadership and cohesive presence 24/7, OBHG hospitalists can be change agents to increase standardization not only of our own care but also that of the broader medical staff.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-Denton sought an OBHG partnership to help standardize protocols and elevate patient safety. OBHG created a customized approach to help standardize OB triage and OB/GYN practices.

“OBHG has been a consistent standard bearer for evidence-based guidelines,” said Dr. Timothy Harris, chief medical officer at Texas Health-Denton. “Because medical staffs are self-governed, sometimes it’s difficult to move the standard of care forward. Administration has very little power in making physicians follow guidelines.”

As the largest provider of OB hospitalist programs, with more than 160 partnerships nationwide, OBHG has a duty to find solutions for our current and potential partners. The themes that arose at this year’s J.P. Morgan conference confirm that OBHG and hospital leaders across the country have an aligned vision for the future of healthcare.

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