Healthcare Leadership: Adapting to a New Presidential Climate
The 2016 national election of a new president has resulted in varying levels of anxiety and stress among certain segments of our society. Post-election reports from mental health providers and others have identified individuals who were experiencing anxiety and feelings of vulnerability based upon the perceived consequences of the election results. A portion of this anxiety was prompted by concerns for the country’s healthcare delivery system, e.g., the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, reduction of mental health services, cutbacks women’s health. Indeed, there is potential for significant disruption within our current healthcare delivery system over the next four years.
Change and disruption in our healthcare system, however, has been a constant over the years. While not all disruptions may have been at the level currently anticipated given our recent elections, healthcare executives have always been accountable for leading their organizations through an environment continually impacted by not only political forces but also by social/cultural, economic, and technological forces among others.
It has always been important for healthcare executive to focus on their organization’s mission and values when determining strategic plans and initiatives. In our current environment, however, it is not difficult to become overwhelmed with the level of uncertainty and begin to focus on what might happen. Concerns like, What is going to take the place of PPACA? Will there be new alternative payment models? How will Medicaid be reformed? While there are critical questions that need to be answered, it becomes more critical than ever that healthcare leaders not become distracted and instead, retain their focus on the organization’s mission and values. Regardless of the current disruption being faced by healthcare organizations, the fundamental responsibility of a healthcare leader remains unchanged: to provide quality healthcare in an accessible and cost-effective manner.
The organizational strategies and tactics required to meet these responsibilities, however, must continually be reevaluated and change as needed based upon the forces currently impacting healthcare. Values and core principles remain, while healthcare leaders need to be flexible and adaptable in being able to recognize and evaluate the implications of future changes in the environment, proactively preparing the organization for future opportunities or threats.
According to author Laura Ramos Hegwer, in order to help address the current level of uncertainty, healthcare leaders should:
- Engage in scenario planning around the different changes that may come about due to potential policy changes and evaluate the possible impact on the organization.
- Consider the different opportunities for partnerships and other types of collaborations that could assist the organization to maintain its viability and to better prepare for the future.
- Continue to refine the tools and data necessary to measure and track quality initiatives and financial performance.
- Be willing to consider new payment models that encourage quality care and efficiency.
- Focus on initiatives that will encourage beneficiaries to become more actively involved in their care by developing models that will allow them to share in any cost savings.
The Master of Healthcare Administration degree program at Concordia University, Nebraska helps to prepare individuals to be successful in today’s dynamic healthcare environment. Our program is committed to developing healthcare leaders with a foundational skill set while promoting a thought process focused on adaptability and flexibility of application. Learn more about our M.H.A. degree today, and see how you can make a difference during uncertain times.
- Burnett-Zeigler, I. , "How Donald Trump affects therapy patients. ," Time, Inc.
- Hegwer, L. , "Navigating uncertainty in health care in 2017. ," http://www.hfma.org/Templates/leadership/Content.aspx?Pageid=28003&id=52112
- Sherman, C. , "Mental health provider help Texans face anxiety over Trump presidency. ," Houston Press
- Shi, L. and Singh, D. , "," Delivering Health Care in America: A systems approach, 6th ed.
- Wehbi, N. , "Message from your ACHE Regent. ," American College of Healthcare Executives