Chicago, IL, February 25, 2020 – The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3), a member-led organization creating uncommon alignment to improve the health and vitality of Chicago, has released the third edition of its annual “State of Chicago Health Care” report exclusively focused on the vibrant health care ecosystem in Chicago and outlying areas.
The report highlights three important advances HC3 made in 2019 – most notably, taking the step to become its own legal entity to further achieve its mission and aspirations to build a safety-net incubator with partners in the city. HC3 was launched in 2016 by MATTER, the health care incubator and innovation hub, and Leavitt Partners, a health care intelligence firm. Since its inception, HC3 has operated under the aegis of MATTER. As HC3 has grown, the founding parties believed that the next logical step in its evolution would be to create its own entity, which became effective at the beginning of 2020. MATTER and Leavitt Partners remain actively involved in HC3, which is now operated by Third Horizon Strategies.
The report also outlines key health-related events that transpired at the national, state, and city level in 2019 and offers expert insight into three main areas: economic development, system transformation, and health and social disparities.
Economic development. Political turmoil at the national level – specifically regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), key questions of health insurance and access, and Medicaid financing – coupled with significant leadership changes at the state and city level influenced many aspects of health-related economic development in Chicago. With the nation focused squarely on the legitimacy of the ACA and the financing of health care, less attention was paid to the more fundamental defects in the country’s health system in dire need of redress. To remedy the situation, HC3 leadership encourages policymakers to focus on eight key areas in the upcoming year, including incentivizing an accelerated path to alternative payment models under the Medicaid program and establishing utility systems to better enable coordination between hospitals, medical professionals, community-based organizations, and others.
System transformation: In 2019, system transformation was instigated by public and private sector developments. Across the country, movement toward value-based payments and alternative payment models increased in the commercial market; however, deterrents - a lack of transparency, poor data, geographic fragmentation, and the use of generic quality metrics that vary based on commercial insurance payer – continued to thwart providers efforts. Simultaneously, reverberations from important health-related mergers and acquisitions were felt nationally as well as locally. HC3 believes that over the
next five years, hospitals will evolve their growth through the following three patterns:
Acquire other remaining stand-alone facilities whose profitability and performance could be improved by achieving certain economics of scale or efficiencies with a larger system
Expand beyond the core clinical footprint to other regions and states
Aggregate safety-net institutions to close the efficiency gap in underserved communities
Health and social disparities. Chicago is replete with individuals and institutions collectively focused on improving the lives of our underserved neighbors. There are significant government and philanthropic resources committed to ensuring access to transportation, food, housing, education, and the other core social elements that we know are correlated to improved health.
Despite the incredible work being done and assets deployed, Chicago, like most American cities, continues to live far below its potential. There is sufficient evidence that improving the lives and platforms of individuals in underserved communities can act as a long-term, inter-generational catalyst for improved health, which leads to improved economic development. However, this does not happen with a simple 90-day whole-person focused model (such as the Camden Coalition), it requires sustained investment, commitment, and performance management. HC3 believes that Chicago-area stakeholders should be aspiring to have a well-coordinated, integrated system that is serving the ultimate objective of improving a person’s life and health.
About The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3)
The Health Care Council of Chicago (HC3) is Chicago’s nationally recognized health care community in action. The organization harnesses the collective intelligence and resources of Chicago’s health care leaders to drive meaningful change and positively influence the conditions that impact the health of the area’s communities. Read the report below.