Lucy Carter, CPA, member and practice leader of the KraftCPAs healthcare industry team, led the Healthcare Industry Panel at The Rainmaker Companies SuperConference in June. Held in downtown Nashville, the conference hosted hundreds of accounting professionals from across the country. Industry experts made presentations and led panel discussions on specialized topics in banking, healthcare, manufacturing, not-for-profit, technology, real estate and more. Lucy moderated a spirited discussion on the current state of healthcare with some of Nashville’s most influential healthcare professionals.
The participating panelists:
Dr. Paul Gentuso, Chief Medical Officer at Heritage Medical Associations
Bob McCorkle, CEO, The Surgical Clinic
Steve Wade, CEO of Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance
Challenges in a changing industry
Lucy began the discussion by asking the panelists about the biggest challenges they currently face as healthcare administrators — what issues currently keep them up at night. The panelists seemed to be in consensus that they’re all confronted with difficult questions of how to provide increasingly convenient yet less costly care. The panel also expressed frustration with having to keep up with insurers, who are constantly tweaking the rules and adding complexity to an already complicated healthcare landscape.
American Healthcare Act implications
The panelists also weighed in on the potential impact the proposed American Healthcare Act (AHCA) might have on their healthcare practices and patients. Some expressed concern that millions of Americans could go uninsured, and the real gains made in preventative care over the past decade might be nullified. The panel concurred that a possible shift toward acute care, and more people receiving treatment in emergency rooms would be a negative (and costly) development for providers and patients alike if Americans who are currently covered lose their insurance. One panelist stated that they’re not sure what the changes will mean for their practice until something substantive comes out of Washington, so they’re waiting for the dust to settle. With healthcare reform still up in the air, decision-making remains difficult for healthcare providers and their administrators. And with some senators indicating that they intend to “start from scratch” on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, no one is sure what to expect and when to expect it.
Lucy Carter explained, “Those of us who work exclusively with healthcare providers understand that these are trying times. We all have to work within a system that seems to be in constant transition, and no one has a crystal ball. We have to plan for the future with the facts as we know them now. For now, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, but given the atmosphere in Washington, we realize that could change. Healthcare providers need to keep their processes, procedures and technology streamlined and up-to-date to ensure that they can accommodate change as it happens and do all they can to maintain profitability. Systems and processes that are sound can deal with change.”