The Catalyst

Medical center communications corner - Performance Excellence update

MUSC Performance Excellence is the financial improvement plan for the medical center. It is a $100 million plan consisting of seven different improvement components. The largest part of the plan is consultant evaluation and recommendations in the areas of labor (inpatient and clinics), physician services, revenue cycle, non-labor, human resources, and pharmacy 340B program.

Consultant evaluation and recommendations
A large part of the MUSC Performance Excellence Plan is consultant evaluation and recommendations in the areas of labor (inpatient and clinics), physician services, revenue cycle, non-labor, human resources, and pharmacy 340B program. The consultant in this part of MUSC Performance Excellence is Huron. Work with Huron began in January 2013 after an initial assessment phase and will continue until January 2014; however, our focus on cost-effective programs and services will remain after Huron leaves. The different components of the plan started at different times; hence, they will have different end dates.

Palliative care
The second part of the MUSC Performance Excellence plan is improvements in palliative care. Palliative care is an approach to treating patients at the end of life. It is not only better care as evidenced in the medical literature, but is also less expensive care, so it is included in the MUSC Performance Excellence plan. Elements of this plan include hiring additional physicians and palliative team members in order to enhance palliative care services at MUSC.

Graduate medical education
Another element of the plan is graduate medical education. This plan involves working with the colleges of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Pharmacy in lowering the unit cost of care delivery in those specialties. The purpose of this part of the plan is to engage all attendings and residents in helping to improve the financial performance by standardizing care and optimizing quality outcomes. A better quality outcome usually means less expensive care.

MUSC Health Plan
Another part of the MUSC Performance Excellence plan is the development of the MUSC Health Plan. This initially started with elimination of co-pays and deductibles; however, this has morphed into development of the MUSC Health Plan. MUSC can no longer ignore the rising costs of premiums at an institutional level or an individual level. Therefore, we have partnered with the Public Employee Benefits Authority to develop this new MUSC Health Plan, which offers lower out-of-pocket costs for those who decide to seek care within the MUSC Health Plan Network. This new plan will promote cost-savings, better align the clinical enterprise and create a broader health network for our employees.

Leader focus on unit costs
Another part of the MUSC Performance Excellence plan is leader focus on unit costs. This is not new, as we have been focusing on unit costs extensively for about three years. Prior to this year, this plan was called the “5 and 5 Plan,” in reference to an attempt to decrease the unit costs by 5 percent each year. All leaders in the medical center, clinical and non-clinical, physician and non-physician, have a goal in this area.

Access
Enhancing access is another element of MUSC Performance Excellence. Peter Zwerner, M.D., from MUSC Physicians has been leading a major effort during the past year to improve access. Improvements in access will not only result in greater patient satisfaction, but will also result in more new patients to MUSC; this is why it is included as part of the financial improvement plan. This project is well on its way and we are seeing significant improvements in the number of new patients at MUSC. This plan will continue to roll out over the next year.

Procedure suite standardization
The final part of the MUSC Performance Excellence plan is procedure suite standardization. During the last six years, we have been standardizing the approach in the operating rooms, and it is now time to bring those same principles of efficiency to the procedure suites. This includes the cardiac catherization labs, endoscopy labs, pediatric procedure suite, interventional radiology, and neuro interventional radiology.

October 21, 2013
 
 
 

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