Finding Savings in Healthcare


Riding a wave of policy turmoil, consumer empowerment, and tightening margins, payors and providers have no choice but to go bold.

As a health plan or hospital executive, you may have had a conversation with your team recently in which you were told that they have nothing left to cut. Respectfully disagree. In our experience, aligning resources with strategic priorities and applying modern industrial engineering techniques, such as standardizing processes as well as the flow of patients through the facility, can reduce health plan administrative costs by as much as 25 percent.

You may be told by your team that there are no costs left to cut. Respectfully disagree.

The “find savings” conversation is most contentious in hospitals, where quality and safety are often given as the reasons to just leave things alone. Another frequently heard excuse is, “We don’t want to stop doing x while the “payors” are still reimbursing it.” In our experience, it is possible to improve quality, safety, access, patient experience, and engagement of physicians and staff while cutting costs. Most of the leading health systems in the country are setting ambitious targets and rightfully embarking on a ruthless search for unnecessary complexity, fragmentation, and waste. By closely matching supply to demand and getting faculty, doctors, staff, and facilities to perform at the top of their potential, these systems are realizing benefits no matter what payment model they choose. In short, a campaign for operational effectiveness and efficiency is no longer optional — it is table stakes.

Healthcare Categories:

Medical specialties and practice categories:
Acute care
Allergy & Immunology
Cardiovascular Disease (Cardiology)
Clinical Neurophysiology
Critical Care Medicine
Dental Public Health
• Endodontics
• Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
• Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
• Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
• Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
• Pediatric Dentistry
• Periodontics
• Prosthodontics
Emergency Medicine
Endocrinology and Metabolism
ENT (see also Otorhinolaryngology)
Family Practice
General Practice
Geriatric Medicine
Gynecologic Oncology
Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Medical Toxicology
Nephrology and Hypertension
Neuromuscular Medicine (subset of neurology and physical medicine)
Neurological Surgery
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Orthopedic Surgery
• Adult Reconstructive Orthopedics
• Foot & Ankle Orthopedics
• Hand Surgery
• Musculoskeletal Oncology
• Orthopedic Sports Medicine
• Orthopedic Surgery of the Spine
• Orthopedic Trauma
• Pediatric Orthopedics
Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat)
Palliative Medicine
• Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine
• Clinical Informatics
• Cytopathology
• Dermatopathology
• Neuropathology
• Pale pathology
• Pathology – Chemical
• Pathology – Forensic
• Pathology – Hematology
• Pathology – Medical Microbiology
• Pathology – Molecular Genetic
• Pathology – Pediatric
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
• Spinal Cord Injury Medicine
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Podiatric Medicine (Podiatry)
Preventative Medicine
Pulmonary Disease
Radiology, Diagnostic
Radiology, Nuclear
Radiation Oncology
Reproductive Endocrinology
Sports Medicine
• Bariatric
• Cardiac
• Cardiothoracic
• Colon and rectal
• Craniofacial (maxillofacial)
• General
• Hand
• Gynecologic
• Neurosurgery
• Thoracic
• Transplant
• Trauma
• Urological
• Vascular
• Acute/urgent care clinics
• Ambulatory clinics
• Community health clinics or centers (low income)
• Free clinics
• Hospital outpatient clinics
• Nicotine dependence clinics
• Mental health and substance abuse clinics
• Nurse-led clinics
• Pain management clinics (chronic pain, long-term pain, injury recovery, etc.)
• Physical therapy clinics
• Rehabilitation clinics
• Retail, walk-in, or convenient care clinics
• Rural clinics
• Sleep clinics
• Specialty clinics (see medical categories above)
• Urgent care clinics
• Walk-in clinics (including urgent care centers, retail clinics and even many free clinics or community health clinics)
• Weight loss clinics
Medical diagnostic centers
• Diagnostic imaging centers
• Diabetes diagnostic centers
• Outpatient diagnostic centers
Public health
• Prevention and wellness
• TB testing centers
American College of Radiology accreditation modalities
• Breast MRI
• Breast ultrasound
• CT
• Mammography
• Nuclear Medicine and PET
• Radiation Oncology
• Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
• Ultrasound
• Ambulatory surgery centers (outpatient surgery centers, same day surgery centers, or surgicenters)
• Bariatric centers (for obesity treatment – Mayo Clinic has one)
• Pharmacogenomics/pharmacogenetics (drug-gene testing) – Mayo Clinic has a center
• Hospital ships
• Nurse-managed health centers
• Medical laboratories
• Military health facilities
• Transplant centers, all organs
• Telemedicine, telehealth, remote patient monitoring, or distance medicine
• Home health care
• Remote patient monitoring
• Telehomecare
Physicians’ practices
• See medical categories above
• Family
• General
• Primary care
• Women’s health
• Physicians’ assistants
Emergency services
• Ambulances
• Emergency medical technician (EMT) services
• Paramedics
Specialty hospitals
• See medical categories above
• Physician owned specialty hospitals
• Women’s Health
• Cardiovascular Surgery and Health
• Orthopedic Surgery and Health
• General Surgery
• Military health facilities
• Community pharmacies
• Hospital pharmacies
• Infusion or home infusion pharmacies
• Retail pharmacies
• Specialty pharmacies (also called infusion pharmacies)
• Addiction psychiatry
Practice models
• Primary care
• Group practice
• Employed Physician Practices
• Solo practice (usually internists)
Care facilities
• Adult daycare
• Long term acute care facilities
• Long term care/elderly and disabled services
• Nursing care facilities
• Assisted living facilities
• Respite care (short-term facility)
• Transitional care (coordination and continuity of health care during a movement from one healthcare setting to either another or to home)
Hospice care
• Nonprofits
• For profit chains
• Home hospice care providers
• Palliative medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine
• Acupuncture
• Chiropractic
• Energy therapies
• Herbal medicine
• Magnetic field therapy
• Reiki
• Therapeutic touch
• Ayurvedic medicine
• Chinese herbal remedies
• Naturopathy
• Homeopathy
Veterinary medicine