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By Monica E. Oss

October 6, 2011

Turbulence – a state or condition of confusion, movement, or disorder. It sounds like the market today – and a reason that so many CEOs in the health and human service field are taking their leave (see yesterday’s briefing, Which Industry Has The Highest CEO Turnover? all members).

I think many executive team members look at our current state of market flux and conclude that it defies planning. But that is not the case. First, there are many tools for planning in a time of change including scenario-based planning (see How Can You Lead, When You’re Not Sure Where We’re Going? all members). The second is that we already know many of the fundamental changes that are occurring in the market – regardless of the specific scenarios that emerge. This is the ‘new normal’ that health and human service organizations of all types will need to incorporate into their strategic thinking.

In my opening session of our 2011 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Institute last night, Challenges (& Opportunities) Facing Leaders in the Health and Human Services Industry all members, we covered the emerging frame for the “new normal”:

  1. Most behavioral health funding through ‘payers’ with diminishing ‘safety net’ funding

  2. More Medicaid (health care reform expansion)

  3. More Medicare (due to demographics)

  4. More managed care and ACOs focused on “total cost of care”

  5. Tech-enabled care models will gain traction

  6. Focus on intensively coordinated resources for high-cost consumers with routine care for majority of consumers increasingly urgent care, PHRs, and self-care

  7. Macro shifts in funding

  • Dollars move from hospitals to community-based

  • Dollars move from specialists to primary care

  • Dollars move from face-to-face services to technologies of all types (pharma, telehealth, consumer self-service technologies, etc.)

  • Excellence in informatics will define the winners and losers

  • For every organization, the strategic question is how the ‘new normal’ effects your competitive advantage – and whether your positioning needs to shift in the changing market.


    Monica E. Oss
    Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS

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    For another resource, see: When Elephants Fight… all members 

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