The purpose of this case study was to examine the business model and analyze the market trends of the health system Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City. Saint Luke’s Health System is a hospital system which encompasses 16 hospitals and campuses across the Kansas City region. Saint Luke’s Health System offers home care and hospice, behavioral health care, dozens of medical offices, a life care senior living complex, and many other services. Their mission statement is “Saint Luke’s Health System is a faith-based, nonprofit, aligned health system committed to the highest levels of excellence in providing health care and health-related services in a caring environment. We are dedicated to enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the diverse communities we serve” (Saint Luke’s Health System, n.d., para 3).
The healthcare market in the Kansas City Region is extremely competitive. Saint Luke’s Health System is the second largest hospital system in the region following HCA Midwest the largest health system. Although quite a competitive market, in 2017, HCA Midwest Health does not have a single hospital in the top five in terms of admissions; nonetheless, it’s six region hospitals combined for about 61,000 admissions last year. That’s 10,000 more than Saint Luke’s Health System, which came in second on the list. When The University of Kansas Health System is included, the three health systems provide care for more than half of the area’s hospital admissions. In 2017, in terms of admissions Saint Luke’s is ranked third, with 22,633 admissions but ranks second in revenue with $2.87 billion (Vaupel, 2018, para 6). In this paper we will examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to Saint Luke’s Health System and finally discuss the health insurance and healthcare trends in the US, to better understand the future needs for the organization.
Saint Luke’s Hospital leverages big size, strategic location and heat mapping to enhance equal access of health services in the Kansas community. Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City (SLH) was established in 1882, this hospital is the biggest hospital in the metropolitan region; with 582 beds, 3,186 workers, and personnel of 500 clinicians providing 24-hour care in all health care specialty. The facility has adopted heat mapping to aid the Kansas community locate their various medical clinics. Moreover the hospital well established to focus on locations with high demand of health services. This facility is the regions longest-running adult heart transplant program and one of the top 25 cardiology and heart surgery programs. Alongside big size, Saint Luke’s hospital is strategically located and utilizes heat mapping to enhance distribution of services hence performance.
Major challenges combating Saint Luke’s Hospital include increased competition, declining market share and consolidation of hospitals. Over the last decade health care industry has become more lucrative in Kansas, hence attracting multiple health provider’s hence increasing competition. Recently, Saint Luke announced closure of its Olathe and Shawnee community hospitals citing declining market. With the growing number of health providers, leading hospitals in the Kansas City region are still being slowly consolidated under a couple health systems. A treat that Saint Luke’s Health System faces is another round of consolidation and/or new competitors in the marketplace. The healthcare landscape in Kansas City is widely competitive; “SLH competes in a dynamic, ever-changing health care market. The greater Kansas City health care market is currently dividing into large “systems of care” that compete for patients by providing a broad continuum of services, such as primary care, inpatient hospitalization, rehabilitation, home care and end of-life care” (Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, 2017, page 7). Increased competition, reduced market share and consolidation of hospitals are the primary drawbacks affecting Saint Luke’s Hospital.
Due to Saint Luke’s Health System’s scale, they can raise money considerably more quickly than their rivals in the market, giving them great opportunity. A big opportunity for Saint Luke’s Health System is the ability to finance for renovation and market expansion. The health system will be able to expand the market share and tap into new market segments while still in the scope of the practice. Ultimately the hospital has favorable economies of scale hence a financial opportunity for renovation and market expansion
However, changes in reimbursement rates, have an impact on the organization’s capital, pose a serious threat to the organization. With new policies and healthcare changes, reimbursement rates can change from year to year, and new stipulations added to make being reimbursed harder. For example, a 9.75% cut was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2022, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the updated 2022 physician fee schedule (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2021, para 3). “In 2019, the Kansas City area’s population aged 65 and over was 327,343 and is expected to grow an additional 38% to reach 452,556 by 2030” (Mid-America Regional Council, n.d., para 1). The changes to flexible Medicaid funding policy implicates Saint Luke’s Hospital sustainability and growth potent.
Health Insurance Trends
Telemedicine popularity has increased over the past two years, with people uncomfortable going into a medical office risking a higher chance of infection or infecting others than getting treatment from the comfort of their home. At St. Luke’s, health informatics have integrated health services through electronic management of patient data to enhance efficacy and speed of telemedicine. Moreover, employer-sponsored health plans began to provide additional mental health coverage alternatives to St. Luke’s employees. Adoption of telemedicine and mental health plans are trends in health insurance liable for improving St. Luke’s data management and coverage alternatives.
US Healthcare Trends
To fully understand the current market that Saint Luke’s Health System is facing we must look at current US healthcare landscape and the trends occurring. The key trends reflect the transition to the post-COVID-19 world, which have taken effect from 2021 through the end of 2022.The post-COVID-19 healthcare environment consists of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing continue as spikes in cases continue, and pressure on supply chains for necessary items needed by millions across the US. Provision of care during COVID-19 elevated the application of health informatics in St. Luke’s health systems. With burnout caused by COVID-19 many providers have reduced work hours or all together have left the medical field and less and less students are entering these fields. Although the COVID-19 pandemic influenced better adoption of health informatics at St. Luke’s facility, it triggered high demand of care providers.
The paper have performed a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats SWOT analysis of Saint Luke’s Health System and highlighted the health insurance and healthcare trends in the US in relation to the organization. Keeping up-to-date information on the market and completing business analysis of the healthcare system is how hospital systems can better equip themselves for the future. The study gives in-depth explorations of the challenges and opportunities Saint Luke’s Health system faces in the new post-COVID landscape. If Saint Luke’s Health System would like to continue its upward trajectory, understanding the market and analyzing the organization will play major roles in this endeavor.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2021). Physician Fee Schedule. Web.
Mid-America Regional Council. (n.d.). Communities for All Ages Issues. MARC. Web.
Saint Luke’s Health System. (n.d.). About Saint Luke’s. Web.
Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. (2017). SLH Application Summary. Web.
Vaupel, A. (2018). Top of the List: KU Hospital rockets higher (plus, a visualization of KC’s health system market). Kansas City Business Journal. Web.