A simple plan for 2023
by Gary W. Patterson

Almost a year ago, I wrote in these pages about making a plan for 2023. How much closer have you gotten?

Three years may seem like a long time, but to arrive at a reasonable level of proficiency by 2023, you need to start now. And the best place to start is by identifying your version of three crucial initiatives for 2023, then estimating both where you are and where you want to be.

Why a top three list and not a top 10? First, who really has time for 10 priorities—or even five? It’s always tough to prioritize in this world of limited resources (money, people, time).

Second, these three top issues are based on confidential interviews conducted at the 2020 Care Coordination and Technology Congress held in January of this year in Atlanta. Note that a key consideration is providing value-based rather than volume-based results.

Recommended Areas of Concern to Focus on for 2023:

1. Better “hospital-at-home” and virtual care availability for longer time periods

The expectations for expanded remote monitoring of patients can no longer be ignored. What will be required is something less than an intensive care unit in every home—but better than what you currently provide. New initiatives must acknowledge the balance between valid patient needs and the ability to pay using commercial insurance, Medicare and personal funds or a combination of the three. Examples might include “killer” telehealth or even home doctor visits.

2. Improved build-versus-buy options for fewer departmental silos and islands of data

All is not lost. More options are becoming available. The marketplace is producing effective solutions, particularly due to recent changes in Medicare reimbursement that incentivize preventative and high-quality care. Examples might include remote monitoring of one or more critical care categories and interventional analytics.

3. Coordination of required social determinants of health

The need to serve populations who have fewer means and social support has grown significantly. The perceived role of health care providers has expanded into traditional social service areas. Examples might include collaboration with local nongovernmental or charitable groups, particularly those serving the homeless.

Next Steps Process Overview

Once you outline your priorities, here are the next steps:

  • Strategically flesh out one or more specific areas to focus on within each of the three recommended areas of concern. You can use the recommendations to choose priorities from the longer list your organization may have created through strategic planning sessions.
  • Evaluate where you are today, using the four-quadrant graph on p. 12. (For more detailed information about the graph, see Homecare’s August 2019 issue).
  • Decide which of the four quadrants you can realistically reach by 2023 for each issue. Acknowledge that it will be almost impossible for many organizations to be at the top of the industry in all three areas by the end of 2023.

Update Your Home Health Framework

Use this simple two-minute exercise to assess where your organization is today in each of the three areas of concern, and then determine where you want to be in 2023:

1. Mark your answers on the two axes in the Home Health Awareness versus Investment graph.

Mark your numerical answer for Awareness on the horizontal continuum from Leader to Novice, and your answer for Investment on the vertical continuum from Reasonable Investment to Minimal Investment.   

Draw a line between these two points to spotlight your current position and suggest where to begin a strategic review.

2. Rinse and repeat.

For each of the three areas, follow the steps above to select what is a reasonable quadrant status by the end of 2023.

3. Determine your current status versus end-of-year 2023 requirements.

Acknowledge where you are with top management and your board of directors and begin moving toward your targeted higher-value delivery.

If you are one of the fortunate few who is well ahead in terms of knowledge and action to address risks and opportunities, use this approach to determine your present situation and unearth your next opportunity. If you’re not so lucky, consider the Call to Action below. Either way, you will have estimated your 2023 ranking and identified the most crucial shortfalls.

A Call to Action

Execute the steps above through a process of quarterly check-ins and reevaluations to stay on course. You still have time to get started on effective improvements by 2023. Take advantage of time rather than procrastinating. Your actions will benefit your patients and your organization—and may even save your job. With a focus on the three top issues above, your organization will be well-positioned to meet the increased demands of 2023.

Gary W. Patterson is CEO of He helps health care leaders make more money by creating opportunities and keep more of their money by reducing risk so they can make better decisions.