|WellPath Health is a fictional composite based on nearly 90 of our clients’ stories. It is a story that encompasses the unique, and yet shared challenges, pain points and realties that so many systems have faced and continue to face in this complex, evolving industry.
WellPath Health has provided great care to the five communities in which they serve for half a century. While historically they have invested in their inpatient campuses, recent shifts in methods of care delivery combined with strong pressure from competitors within both the healthcare and retail space has signaled the need for WellPath to think outside their walls.A few years ago, a new urgent care provider launched several retail clinics across WellPath’s markets. At the same time, WellPath’s primary competitor opened several primary and multispecialty care offices that absorbed important market demand, particularly in WellPath’s suburban and rural markets. In response, WellPath’s executive team pushed to build a handful of urgent care, primary and specialty clinics—the locations of which were determined primarily by manual demographic analysis, zip code data, gut feel…and sometimes just where they found convenient property available.
Rumors of micro hospitals, ASCs, and other outpatient investments by current and new entrant competitors have recently circulated and made it clear that healthcare is undergoing a seismic shift, and in order to both survive and thrive, WellPathis going to need a strategy that provides more certainty and precision than anything they have done in the past.
In short, WellPath will need to discover and embrace a completely new way of Ambulatory Network Planning.
Of course, like most health systems, change will require breaking through numerous layers of bureaucracy and political boundaries. Any large project is a slow-moving freighter, often dragged down by an anchor of meetings and constantly in danger of death by committee. Change will require information everyone can count on, breaking through traditional silos, and proactive versus reactive decision making.
To add to the pressure, WellPath’s Board of Directors has recently challenged the executive team to move beyond tactical actions in all areas of growth—and has demanded a new era of more calculated, strategic decision-making and planning.
Next month, we will speak with WellPath Chief Strategy Officer, David Weichert, to learn a bit more about how the organization has decided to move forward.
Throughout the rest of 2019, we will be sharing more about the WellPath journey—from our perspective, their own, and from the viewpoint of those they serve. It is our hope that through their story, we can clearly show how the RES, in partnership with our clients, can successfully navigate the changing healthcare landscape.