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What health system strategists will prioritize in 2023 and beyond


The past few years have been hard for health system strategic planners, and it's not getting any easier. To find out the top challenges and priorities for the coming year, we surveyed 57 leaders at member organizations. Read on to learn the six key findings from our research.



Methodology, respondents, and research questions

Methodology and respondents

Advisory Board administered a survey on health system strategy from April 26 to May 12, 2022. The survey included Likert scale questions, ranking exercises, and true/false questions. Analysis of the results included follow-up interviews with a portion of the survey respondents.

There were 57 total respondents. Common role descriptions of the respondents were: chief strategy officers, chief executive officers, and VPs and directors of strategy, planning, and/or business development. Respondents work predominately at health systems and integrated delivery networks.

Research questions

With this survey, we sought the answers to six key questions:

1. How do health system margins, volumes, capital spending, and FTEs compare to pre-pandemic baselines?

2. Which volume categories are under- and over-performing in mid-2022?

3. Which disruptors are shaping provider competition and health system strategic planning?

4. What growth strategies are hospitals and health systems employing?

5. Will capital spending priorities change next year?

6. Will strategic planning priorities change next year?


The findings

Our research offers six primary findings on health system performance in 2022 and expected strategies and priorities for 2023 and beyond, detailed below.

  • Financial challenges persist despite rebounds in utilization
  • Volume is migrating to ambulatory settings
  • Disruptors are targeting profit centers, rewiring care paths
  • Respondents are trying to optimize existing portfolios
  • Health systems are focusing on margin, mission, and workforce priorities
  • Capital spending constraints limit strategic flexibility for most health systems

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