IU Health posts solid 2016 performance, enhances patient-centric services & refines growth strategy

Posted on Mar 14, 2017

IU Health posts solid 2016 performance, enhances patient-centric services & refines growth strategy INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University Health posted solid operating results in a challenging environment for healthcare in 2016, expanding its access to care for patients and accomplishing key growth initiatives.

“We take pride in our many achievements in 2016 and thank our team members for their continued commitment to excellence,” said Dennis Murphy, president and chief executive officer. “IU Health served more than one million individual patients across the state last year and continues to fulfill its mission to provide patients with the best possible care.”

A year of achievements and growth

IU Health’s enhancements to patient care in 2016 included investing in precision medicine to guide individualized treatments for cancer and other diseases; devoting more resources toward research and new treatments for high acuity clinical programs, including neurosurgery, cardiology and organ transplantation; expanding access to primary care services through more clinics and highly skilled physicians, same-day appointments and urgent care centers in local communities; deploying patient financial navigators in hospitals and clinics to help secure medical coverage for patients in need; and continuing a shift to value-based care providing higher quality at a lower price.

IU Health’s financial performance in 2016 included growing total revenue to $6.23 billion and achieving positive earnings after operations that are critical to funding IU Health’s broad commitments as Indiana’s largest integrated healthcare system.

“As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, we have taken steps to ensure the IU Health system can continue providing the highest level of care to patients in the face of uncertain trends in reimbursement,” said Ryan Kitchell, executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We are taking these actions as we plan for significant capital expenditures in the next several years to continue to enhance patient care.”

IU Health in 2016 pursued critical initiatives that advance its mission of providing clinical care, research and education, in a unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine:

  • IU Health continued to broaden patient access to care systemwide, expanding its primary care network, offering Video Visits, introducing same-day appointments and opening more urgent care centers. More than 300 physicians and advanced practice providers were recruited to the system in 2016 and urgent care clinics received over 30,000 patient visits. Video Visits technology proved an instant hit with patients, allowing them to receive care with IU Health physicians via a live conversation on their smartphone, tablet or computer.
     
  • IU Health refined its geographic footprint, with a focus on Central Indiana. Three northern Indiana hospitals were divested and are no longer part of the statewide system. This helps IU Health concentrate its population health efforts—aimed at combating difficult societal issues such as tobacco use, infant mortality and opioid addiction—for patients in its catchment area.
     
  • To further assist patients with their financial and care needs, IU Health expanded its team of hospital- and clinic-based patient navigators, which now number more than 150. The system increased use of unified billing, a more patient-friendly approach allowing most patients to receive a single bill for all their IU Health charges.
     
  • Construction began on an integrated service center that will help IU Health create one of the most sophisticated hospital-run supply chains in the nation, reducing costs for patient care and improving delivery of supplies to hospitals and other facilities. The 300,000-square-foot center, based in Plainfield, Ind., opens in spring 2017.
     
  • Community benefits reported by IU Health last year for 2015 approximated $500 million in value, including charity care, community health programs and uncompensated care for Medicaid patients.   
     
  • IU Health remained focused on major capital projects that will invest heavily in cutting-edge healthcare for Indiana. Plans advanced to develop a consolidated downtown Indianapolis adult hospital campus and a new IU Health Bloomington Hospital. IU Health also continued building out an electronic medical records system with new capabilities in patient portals allowing patients to make online appointments and communicate with their care teams by email.
     
  • Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health launched Indiana’s first statewide pediatric healthcare system, Riley Children’s Health, connecting Hoosier families with 200 primary care and 400 specialty care Riley physicians across the state.

“Our most important asset is our talented and diverse team members, whose commitment and engagement are reflected every day in their service to patients,” Murphy said. “We are working hard to create a work culture that repeatedly succeeds in its caregiving goals and is resilient and versatile, as the state of healthcare continues to change.”

Murphy, named CEO last May, is part of a revamped leadership team that saw the appointments in 2016 of a chief operating officer, chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, and chief HR officer. They join a chief medical officer and chief nurse executive who were appointed in 2015. The team is committed to ensuring IU Health remains widely recognized for healthcare innovation and excellence and becomes a leader in population health as it continues to be a favored destination for patients seeking nationally recognized care for complex conditions.

Financial gains in a changing healthcare landscape

Financial highlights for IU Health’s 14-hospital system, which also includes surgery and urgent care centers, three regional physician networks and a health insurance company:  

  • Total operating revenue grew to $6.23 billion, from $6.10 billion in 2015, aided by improved conversion from self-pay patients to insurance, including the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0).
  • Operating expenses of $5.67 billion responded to growing patient volume. Outpatient surgical cases grew to 84,000 and the system hospital occupancy rate rose, while spending increased on supplies, medicines, services and payroll.
  • Earnings dipped to $260 million, with core clinical operations holding strong. The drop was largely due to unfavorable adjustments related to the three hospital divestitures and performance in governmentally sponsored clinical risk programs. 

IU Health was named the top hospital system in Indiana and included among the nation’s top hospitals for the 19th consecutive year in the 2016-2017 ‘Best Hospitals’ rankings by U.S.News & World Report. IU Health is among an elite group of hospitals with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services and clinical outcomes.

A not-for-profit hospital system created in 1997 with hospital roots reaching to the early 1900s, IU Health has a unique role in Indiana supporting a wide range of programs beyond clinical care. They include support for IU School of Medicine; chaplaincy programs that aid patients’ spiritual and other needs; neighborhood revitalization; school-based health education programs; and education for independent health providers.