Saturday, January 17, 2009

Health Care Reform: Sharing Our Learnings from our Futures Planning

Our experience in futures planning with Futures Task Force I and the recent completion of Futures Task Force II has also helped us prepare to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Futures Task Force I employed scenario planning, which resulted in a selection of scenarios that the team expected could happen within the following 10 years—many of which were accurate. (For instance, the task force projected a possible terrorist attack that would divert resources away from health care as well as a global economic recession). As a result of this scenario planning, the task force determined that the two most significant drivers taking us into the first decade of this century would be declining reimbursement, particularly on the inpatient side, and the rapid introduction of new technology which would give us the ability to move more inpatient treatment to the outpatient arena.

Futures Task Force II employed “learning journeys” that allowed us the opportunity to observe first-hand some processes and systems very different than those we are familiar with and the opportunity to experience what may be the trends of tomorrow.

We believe our work in futures planning has positioned us to prepare for and better face the opportunities and potential hardships we might experience in the next 10 years. It is this planning that I believe would be invaluable for those redesigning the U.S. health care system.

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