How incumbent systems in South Florida are making big changes to adapt to a rapidly evolving tech-driven health sector
George Foyo Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer – Baptist Health South Florida
How have demographic shifts in South Florida changed the way Baptist Health administers its services?
Both the millennial and baby boomer populations are growing significantly, and Baptist Health is adjusting its methods to best serve their needs. For example, millennials want to use electronic devices to talk to doctors and use the internet to research symptoms, while baby boomers rely on face-to-face visits. Our rule is “know your customer,” so we strive to deliver services our customers appreciate. Consumer choices drive business success. To better serve our population, we are investing in tools that enhance our digital interactions with patients, and have established social media presences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Where do you see technology making the most prominent marks on the health landscape, and how is Baptist Health responding?
Like other industries, the health care industry is transitioning, partly because regulations and technology are impacting health care systems. Medical technologies, such as telemedicine, including mobility, as well as advanced medical equipment and procedures, are driving the industry’s evolution, creating efficient health care delivery mechanisms that are reducing the number of overnight patients. For example, patients can use smartphones to interact with doctors. Non-invasive treatments like robotic surgery are minimizing hospitalization. As a result, the outpatient business is growing at a higher rate than the inpatient business. Though regulations are controlling how much technology can be utilized for patient care, telemedicine is becoming prominent and changing the way the industry delivers services. To adjust, Baptist Health is reinforcing its outpatient, urgent care and diagnostic centers for patients expecting quick turnarounds.
What are the key regulatory issues affecting health care in South Florida?
The Affordable Care Act created a new revenue model, and we are reducing our cost structure to adjust. State legislators are prioritizing health care cost management and scrutinizing insurance companies, hospital systems and current regulations to lift regulatory constraints and create competition. Part of this means lifting restrictions on where new hospitals can be opened and allowing overnight stays at ambulatory surgery centers. In addition, the federal government has created the Federal Healthcare Exchange to make insurance accessible to uninsured, lower-income individuals. This has meant that a significant number of uninsured or underinsured patients now have access, but typically with high deductibles. We as a health system are adapting to the changing health care landscape.