The Whys Have It

A recent TED Talk by Simon Sinek explored how we make buying decisions by measuring our sensitivity to “why” a company does what they do. The “why” question seems to be more important than “how” they do it, or even “what” a company does. The “why question” exposes a company’s reason for existing, rather than just to mass produce copycat products to push out the door for profit. The “why” means the company wants to be an active part of the solution to the problems faced in the real world of business or healthcare. Sinek considers the “why” question the most important one to answer.

ACOs face the same question:  “Why” are you in the ACO business? Identification of an ACO’s customers then becomes important and may be more complex than is seen on the surface. These are the people that are interested in your “why.”  Clearly the beneficiaries/patients are a customer, but what about the doctors that serve the ACO with their patients? This doctor-customer concept may be more clearly seen with good providers that are not ACO participants. Does the “why” of your organization match up with the “why” of your current and future doctors?

The customer trail does not end here. Could you consider hospitals a customer? The ACO may be an important part of a bundled payment solution or re-admission reduction initiative. What about the specialists or your community ancillary service providers? Does the “why” of your ACO line up with theirs? Perhaps the bigger question is–do you even know the “why” of your business?

Salient Management Company‘s “why” is based on the vision of a radical new management system that changes the way doctors work in the clinical world. We see our purpose as helping organizations operate with more certainty and greater control, as well as enabling decision makers to improve performance continuously. This is accomplished by using process data such as claims, clinical records, operations and financial data to gain control of resources and thus to eliminate waste. We believe that control is a function of several critical characteristics:  coherency (every fact integrated and reconciled), specificity (no detail left out), flexibility (to follow intuition), and visibility (of cause and effect). Overarching all of these elements is the speed sufficient to pursue in real time (< 5 seconds) the questions raised by the answer to the prior query.

The “how” of our business is through providing one of the most advanced performance improvement solutions available that guides the practicing physicians and supporting administrators with key performance indicators. In other words, the Salient ACO Solution is a continuous performance improvement tool that is fast, easy-to-use, and fits the ACO’s current needs while containing the capacity to grow with it.

So, “why” is your ACO in your community? Is it your vision to see the best care possible for your patients? Or have you come together because your providers are tired of having clinical knowledge limited by the walls of the office? Are your doctors frustrated by having the responsibility but lacking sufficient information or control? Is your “why” just to finally be paid for what you do? Salient is built on the simple concept of knowing that the actual value added by past actions is knowing the best action to take in the present moment. How does this idea fit with your “why?”

Your “how” will be by being able to track your personal quality performance and your patients’ clinical progress on an intuitive data visualization and analytical system–a system that will guide your ACO toward clinical and financial success. The “what” is to actually see improved patient clinical outcomes, reduced ER visits, fewer hospital admissions, and yes, better financial rewards for providers. An additional “what” is to see reduced cost and higher patient satisfaction. In other words, it is achieving the Triple Aim. Now we can see that the “Whys Have It.”

Craigan Gray

About the Author

Craigan Gray, MD, MBA, JD

Dr. Craigan Gray, Salient Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer, brings rich experience from private practice, hospital leadership, and governmental health-benefit programs. Prior to joining Salient, Dr. Gray was director of North Carolina’s $12 billion Medicaid program. His time as VPMA at Bon Secours Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Kentucky was distinguished by moving the facility into the top-quality performance tier for Health Grades and CMS health quality indicators. Dr. Gray is a Stanford University trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist. In addition to an MD degree, Dr. Gray holds an MBA degree and a JD degree. He is a Certified Physician Executive and is published in various medical journals.

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