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The non-profit track. Sounds boring, but that is the sacrifice I make for my listeners. 9 hours in front of my computer to find the information that will benefit you. Today we touch on the themes from day 1.


Today in health, it JP Morgan healthcare conference day one. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health, a set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current. And engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health. It leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health Taos site nuance, and current health. Check them out at this week.

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Well, JPM day one is in the books and that is the JP Morgan healthcare conference. As always, this is an interesting look for me into the inner workings of healthcare organizations. You're going to get a healthy dose of JPM coverage this week. The overall message at first, and then we're going to drill down into the themes of individual presentations that I found. Interesting. And I think my benefit you.

Before I do that. Let me give you a lay of the land. First of all, this year, it's virtual. , we are not meeting in San Francisco. Like we normally do.

There are some 600 companies presenting at JPM, but I stay on one track and that is the nonprofit track. And this is where healthcare providers, nonprofit healthcare providers get up and give a presentation of , their strategies and of their financials. , you know, we typically hear from the CEO and the CFO, and as I said, you know, it's strategies past present and what they're going to be doing moving forward.

And the financial results of the most recent year in the context of previous years, usually I will say that. The financial presentations, , I'm sure they give them a template of what they should present. , but sometimes it's not nearly as clear as it is. , in some presentations as others. , the presentations are tight 30 minutes with 10 minutes of Q and a and on day one, here are the systems that we heard from advent health, from Orlando, Henry Ford health system advocate, Aurora health.

Intermountain healthcare, Ascension common spirit health, Baylor Scott, and white. Children's hospital of Philadelphia chop. University of Maryland medical system. Children's national hospital. And Oregon. Health and science university. So 11 systems with their strategies, challenges, and financials.

They are national and predominantly urban. , we have Florida. , Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin. , Utah, Colorado Midwest west coast. , Texas, Pennsylvania, DC, Maryland, Oregon. , so geographically diverse. Tends towards the larger integrated delivery network, the larger IDN or academic medical center or children's hospital. , you're not hearing from rural health systems per se.

I tell you these things because, you know, context is our Fred knowing who we are listening to, , will help us to put these strategies and the financial results in context. These are overall trends. 2020 was tough. It was a tough year. 2021 was a bounce-back year in the start of 2022. Is really a mixed bag. It really depends on where you're at and how the pandemic is impacting.

Your community. Generally we saw strong balance sheets and cash on hand was good. Debt to cap ratios was good. So these health systems strengthened their balance sheets. Through the pandemic. The headwinds that we're facing the pandemic itself, obviously. , continues to impact certain parts of the country differently.

There's also sustained inflationary pressures. Wages supplies. , this is true for all areas of the country. , where the pandemic impact has been really varied across the country. This is a common theme. Every health system. There is wage pressure. There is cost of supplies and cost of goods. , pressure as well. So you have sustained inflationary pressures.

, that will probably, , I don't know, be more permanent in nature. To the overall cost of healthcare. And that is one of the things I walked away from is there's absolutely no way that the cost of healthcare is not going up. And the United States. So. , let's just go on. And see what other things we have here.

There are systems. That I think are relying pretty heavily on government dollars. , there's systems whose timing has been great cost reduction strategies in 2018 and 19, going into the pandemic strong balance sheet at the beginning of the pandemic as well. These were good indicators for organizations that have been able to emerge.

, quickly from the pandemic in start to implement new strategies. If you will, new digital strategies, new data strategies. New consumer facing strategies. , because they were healthy going in and their, their timing was just, lucky. ,

but, you know, luck favors the prepared. So. , they were ready going into the pandemic. They're going to come out a lot quicker. , the service area does matter. Operating margins are higher than I've really ever seen them for systems. , size is not always an indication of performance, essential and common spirit.

Are huge, but they serve some challenging geographies. And the wage and costs of goods. Pressure is real at that scale. , performance wasn't bad, but in comparison, it wasn't really that great either.

large-scale capital projects happen, but not if the pre pandemic pace. , I expect that to return in 2022, based on the presentations. , so the investments will start to catch up and we saw investments in core facilities. And that is still there, but you can also expect. Alternative care venues, gaining serious investment.

, low asset strategies for going into markets or for expansion into markets is still the king. If you will, the operative. , mode at that people are thinking about, , digital strategies were a common conversation. I know the customer and build around their needs was a reframe from the forward leaning health systems.

, missing was almost any talk of cybersecurity. While last year was encouraging to hear from the CEOs, talking about their renewed emphasis on cybersecurity. This year, the topic was. Totally absent. Interesting. I mean, I'll go back and look at my notes. , but for the most part, I don't remember any of the CEOs talking about cybersecurity.

I don't know that I would read too much into that, but it is interesting to note, nonetheless. , only one system talked about their EHR implementation. I think this is an indication that, , if you're talking about your EHR implementation in 2022, you are likely a laggard. , On the, , adoption curve. Right? So I I'm just saying, I'm not, I'm not putting that down. I mean, if you, , have a system that has a lot of different DHRs and you need to get there operationally.

You probably should have done it five years ago, but if you didn't, you probably should do it today. ,

I will say that I miss the interaction of the JPM. Conference in San Francisco, the physical location. The, the serendipity of these encounters are better than most of the conferences that I will attend all year. , if you're wondering what that means, it means that I run into people that I don't normally run into.

Throughout the year. And we have discussions that are extremely valuable. ,

over lunch. We did hear from Jamie diamond, the CEO of JP Morgan. , he gave us his usual pragmatic view of the economy. The underlying elements of the economy are strong. Inflation is real. , if the policy's done right, we should be able to slow the growth for a few years to let the valuations and the economic activity really catch up.

, he highlighted that we have some of the best healthcare in the world. But the cost is the tapeworm of the U S economy. As Warren buffet has said. , you know, we have to do better. Always interesting to hear from Jamie diamond. On the economy and on healthcare. You know, today we're going to hear from eight more health systems and this will either solidify these themes.

Or provide some, some other avenues to explore. It should be interesting. , , towards the end of this week, I will go into some of the individual presentation that really caught my eye. , off the top of my head, I'm thinking of the Baylor Scott and white presentation was very interesting. Their consumer centric approach. They had a two or three slides on that. The CEO covered that. Very interesting, how they are approaching the market.

And I think it's a real healthy way. To think about your digital strategies moving forward. So I will share some of that with you. , towards the end of the week, keep coming back. As we dive into JP Morgan, 2022, that's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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