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Winter 2020 - Volume 37 - Issue 2

  • Trudy Land, FACHE
  • 0748-8157
  • 2475-2797
  • 4 issues per year

From the Winter 2020 Issue

Amid the forces of consumerism, market disruption, and changes in reimbursement, an unprecedented challenge has arisen in the development of ambulatory networks: COVID-19. Healthcare organizations are now rethinking or rebooting their ambulatory strategies in the wake of the pandemic. They are navigating decreases in elective surgeries, lab tests, and physician visits and are seeing a rapid increase in expectations for telehealth—all while acting on consumers’ demands for convenient access to more services at lower costs. Competition from inside and outside the sector, consumer needs and expectations, and the value-based care payment model have prompted organizations to dedicate more resources to ambulatory care. Has COVID-19 fully reshaped the trend to the outpatient arena, or are healthcare leaders holding the course to prevent readmissions, decrease costs, and provide a positive consumer experience?

Hospitals and health systems that want to expand their ambulatory profile are addressing multiple decisions on what service mix to offer, where to locate it geographically, and in what types of facilities to deliver it—outpatient sites on-campus or off-campus, freestanding clinics, employer- based or retail establishments, or physician offices. Developing an ambulatory network raises many complex issues that must be addressed: the best financial path forward, the impact of the regulatory environment on service provision and reimbursement, competition versus partnership, integration with the electronic health record (EHR) system, a strategic plan that includes ambulatory services, and the infrastructure required for telehealth.​

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