Last week my husband had shoulder surgery. We are very fortunate that he has a world-class surgeon and that we have good insurance. The operation cost over $55,000; however, our out of pocket was just under $1,000. My husband has been in a lot of pain and ready to get his shoulder repaired. While in the hospital waiting room, I reflected on those with injuries that do not have the insurance or money to be able to have surgery. There is an expression in hospital systems, “no margin, no mission.” Many people do not realize the average hospital system has operating margins of 2 – 3%. Compare that to the average S&P top 500 companies at 11.7%. The hospital systems’ mission is to serve ALL persons to create healthier communities. Although hospital margins are much lower than the average business, without that margin, they cannot serve those in need.
My husband’s surgery was a great reminder for me of why we do what we do at Nuance. At Nuance, one of the things we do is ensure proper reimbursement for health systems. Without that revenue integrity, they cannot serve those in need. We also have solutions to make surgeons more productive to capture the surgical documentation easily to save time and help get the hospital reimbursed much more quickly. My husband’s surgeon did three difficult surgeries that day and then was on call for the trauma unit that evening. She was back rounding with my husband at the hospital at 5:45 am. Nuance is working on some exciting new ambient technology powered by AI that will save her time in the clinic by providing clinical documentation that writes itself. It is a privilege to work in healthcare, and I am inspired to continue to pursue how we can help support care teams and health systems to fulfill their mission of providing everyone the quality of care that my husband received.
At the End of the Day… is an expression meaning an assessment of essential facts and truths. It’s a summation of the pros and cons of any situation and a straightforward statement of what really matters. It’s also the title of this blog series by Brenda Hodge, Nuance Healthcare’s Chief Marketing Officer, with insights about leadership, empathetic customer relationships, and marketing techniques.