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Kansas City Business Journal: The patient will see you now

The age of health care in the hands of the consumer

By Lily Lieberman

A group of local health care executives discussed industry trends that will have lasting impacts on patients and providers during a Friday panel discussion.

The six-person panel discussion, sponsored by Kansas City-based McCownGordon Construction, focused on how the delivery model for health care is changing, whether that's through telehealth, outpatient facilities, in-home care or in a traditional hospital setting.

Health care is just starting to catch up to the convenience and accessibility that consumers are used to getting from retailers like Amazon and streaming services like Netflix.

Children's Mercy CEO Paul Kempinski said children's hospitals experienced a 6% decline in inpatient admissions while hospitals remain generally full "because the acuity and the complexity of the kids that are being admitted now is rising in an extraordinary way."

"So our hospitals, not just in children's hospitals, but on the adult side, are turning into big ICUs. We still see a lot of bed expansion going on in the industry and yet we're at this tipping point. So from a children's hospital perspective, we need to focus on ambulatory first, focus on virtual care and leverage the rapid evolution of technology that enables kids and parents to be able to access and experience care in a real time way," he said.

The shift to value-based care also has hospitals and health systems readjusting their focus not just on the individual, but on entire populations.

"None of us will ever lose sight of caring for the individual or patient. It's always going to be paramount," Kempinski said. "What we are compelled to do now, is to really focus on lifting the health status of communities and populations. We're becoming incentivized to do that, but I also think we're obligated to do that as health systems and hospitals."


Read the full story via The Kansas City Business Journal