- Hoping to generate significant additional revenue, Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital has made plans to offer consulting services to hospitals, healthcare businesses and health initiatives.
- The new initiative is headed by Steven Thompson, founding CEO of Johns Hopkins International, whose job it will be to find new sources of cash and shape the organization's partnership and investment strategy.
- While Thompson will be marketing consulting services to US-based organizations that want to leverage the Brigham's knowledge of research, education and patient care, he anticipates that healthcare businesses overseas will be especially interested in such services.
This is just one more example of how hospitals are re-examining their mission to see how they could generate extra revenue. As readers know, hospitals are having difficulty staying in the black operating their core inpatient business, particularly as they begin to treat a higher volume of patients with high deductible health plans. With those patients often failing to meet these deductibles, and fee-for-service reimbursement continuing to fall, hospitals have no choice but to consider new ways of making money.
In addition to offering consulting services, hospitals are increasingly looking at ways to profit by investing in entrepreneurial companies that fit their mission. This is especially true in the healthcare IT arena, where hospitals are increasingly incubating promising startups and investing in their growth.
Yet another trend is for hospitals to shift assets into urgent care. Larger organizations, such as Community Health Systems, have begun converting some of their hospital properties into urgent care and outpatient services centers.
The bottom line seems to be that hospitals and health systems are not going to thrive unless they find new sources of revenue to compensate for falling health plan reimbursement. They'll still need to do a good job of delivering their core services, but they're going to have to find new ways to profit as well.