Annual Industry Survey Discloses New Healthcare Business Imperatives for 2014

Press Releases, January 16, 2014

Is the healthcare industry rising or sinking? While healthcare leaders are more optimistic about the industry than they were two years ago, fewer than half (47%) say their organizations’ financial forecast is positive for 2014.

A new independent HealthLeaders Media survey, supported by Conifer Health Solutions, explores the state of the healthcare industry and how healthcare leaders are navigating the shift from volume- to value-based care. Industry Survey 2014: Forging Healthcare’s New Financial Foundation outlines the strategies executives are employing to support systemwide collaboration and adapt to the new clinical and financial challenges imposed by healthcare reform. The research is based on data drawn from the 7,000-member HealthLeaders Media Council, plus independent expert analysis. It is available for free download now at

Among the findings of this exclusive survey: The next twelve months are positioned to be the most transformative in the history of the healthcare industry. Organizations must restructure their care delivery models to prepare for increased risk-sharing, even while coping with decreased reimbursements. The vast majority (91%) of healthcare leaders identify declining reimbursements as an immediate threat to revenue, and they will attempt to buffer the impact through new cost containment efforts.

Other areas of concern are increasing competition for market share, fragmentation along the care continuum, and the uncertain availability of analytics resources needed to manage population health imperatives. Despite the imperative to reduce costs, 54% of healthcare organizations plan to invest in analytics technology in 2014 for this purpose.

“It’s going to be hard for you to manage populations if you don’t have … the analytics required and if you don’t have access to bioinformatics and other data that allows you to look at [healthcare] outcomes in a robust way with a very robust database,” says Michael T. Burke, senior vice president, vice dean and corporate CFO of the New York University Langone Medical Center, and an advisor to the HealthLeaders Industry Survey. 

The survey reveals new sentiments about how earlier technology investments are panning out, turning previous conceptions of “best practices” on their head. “A lot of people have put in an electronic medical record only to find they have to replace it with something that really works,” Burke says. Nearly one-third (27%) of respondents report that their investment in EHR was largely a waste of money.

Other compelling statistics from the survey include:

  • Consensus on healthcare reform success factors is strong: 89% rank clinical care continuum relationships as an area of top opportunity, followed by health information exchange (76%), population health management (75%), and primary care redesign (74%).
  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents believe the industry can make the shift from volume-based reimbursements to value-based care—but 28% do not.
  • Analysts insist that data analytics is key to reducing costs and implementing population health management—but 25% of respondents say their analytics team is weak or very weak.
  • More respondents today feel the industry is on the right track than just two years ago (31% vs. 25%), yet fewer than half (47%) say their financial forecast is positive or strongly positive.

HealthLeaders Media also developed a companion breakout report on CEO survey data, Industry Survey 2014 CEO Report: The Winners and Losers of Healthcare Reform. With responses from more than 100 CEOs, this report digs into perspectives of top leadership on how healthcare reform is shaking out amid new concerns around readmissions and clinical staff performance.

“Readmissions is not as much of a care issue as the government would like to think it is,” says Charles Hart, MD, MS, president and CEO of Regional Health in Rapid City, S.D., who served as advisor for the CEO Report. “It’s social. Social issues are the major reason for readmissions.”

Top findings from the CEO Report include:

  • CEOs plan to fuel top-line growth over the next five years by expanding outpatient services (66% of respondents) and strategic marketing campaigns to highlight existing services (65%).
  • Many more CEOs now see health insurance exchanges as an opportunity compared to 2013 (56% vs. 45%).
  • Only 52% of CEOs rated their physician staff performance as strong or very strong—a 14-point drop from 2013.

“This year’s survey will give you a sense of the innovation our industry is contemplating to achieve the full promise of an outcomes-based care delivery system while managing costs and meeting the increased demand for healthcare services from newly empowered patients,” says Stephen Mooney, President & CEO of report sponsor Conifer Health Solutions. The report is available for free download at

In addition to the complimentary reports, two extended versions are available for purchase, containing in-depth analysis and additional features: the Premium version, which may be purchased at, lets readers segment data according to their needs and provides recommendations and discussion questions for healthcare leadership teams; and the Buying Power version, which is available for purchase at, is designed for healthcare industry suppliers and includes detailed drill-down data on purchasing trends and projections to aid sales strategies.

HealthLeaders Media

HealthLeaders Media, is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals. As an integrated media company, HealthLeaders Media includes HealthLeaders magazine,, the HealthLeaders Media Intelligence Unit, HealthLeaders Media Live events, HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs reports, and California HealthFax. All these platforms may be found online at