The new year brings with it many challenges for healthcare providers. Some are familiar, while others are a result of the new administration that is about to be inaugurated in Washington. DC. To help us prepare, Labor Management Project co-directors Bernadette Braddy and Clyde Riggins Jr. have compiled a list of the five most pressing challenges we face—and opportunities to bring labor and management together to meet those challenges.
1. The shift to primary care, population health, and value-based reimbursement
The momentous shift away from hospital-based care driven by DSRIP presents both threats and opportunities for many of our member organizations. We are on a rapid learning cycle, with data driving the way in which health care is provided and valued.
Multidisciplinary teamwork is the wave of the future—a means of fully and efficiently addressing patient health—and the Labor Management Project is perfectly positioned to help Union members and management collaborate to improve teamwork.
2. The potential repeal of Obamacare
President-elect Donald Trump and the Republicans who dominate both the Senate and the House of Representatives have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Congress has already begun work to dismantle it. Yet, even after nearly seven years of Republican calls and attempts to undo the ACA, there remains no consensus on what replacement legislation would look like.Repeal of the ACA would have huge negative impacts on the finances of our client health care provider organizations and on the health of vulnerable New Yorkers, including many of the people served by our members.
Labor and management partnership is one successful strategy to mitigate uncertainty and ensure that mutual interests are protected. The LMP supports collaborative teamwork and continuous process improvement that preserves high quality of care and optimizes health system performance.
3. Workplace and community health
Like many Americans, New Yorkers–and New York healthcare workers–suffer from high rates of preventable conditions and diseases. These challenges affect the quality of life for workers, their families, and their communities.
Workplaces offer ideal opportunities to promote better health, given the time spent at worksites and their pronounced influence on physical, mental, economic, and social well-being. The LMP’s Workplace and Community Health Program partners with employers and 1199SEIU to drive health equity for workers and communities.
We are working in an environment of consolidation that is affecting the structure of jobs and the provision of services.
By working together, labor and management can ensure effective transitions and preserve crucial relationships.
5. Hospital-acquired conditions
One in 25 hospital patients in the US acquire at least one hospital-acquired condition, and there are 200 deaths per day in this country attributed to infections acquired while in the hospital. The federal Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction program was launched in 2015, and that year, 45% of New York City Hospitals received financial penalties.
All workers can play a role in reducing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions such as falls and pressure ulcers. We can build on our successful infection prevention campaign and new curriculum developed by the Training and Upgrading fund to help reduce or eliminate these conditions that are so costly on both a personal and organizational level.
In this uncertain context, our services, support, and work will become increasingly valuable to our Union and management partners. Our stakeholders can access every tool in our kit to move effectively into our healthcare future, including the following:
- Process improvement
- Patient-centered care
- Conflict resolution
- Self-directed care teams
- Managing transition teams
- Leadership development and coaching
- Best practices, research and evaluation
- Learning exchanges and conferences
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