CORE Strategies, CORE Solutions™ Corporate Social Responsibility for the Healthcare Industry The Current Healthcare Environment Anyone involved in the healthcare industry knows that providers are facing declining reimbursement rates and increasing costs. Trends toward “Pay for Performance” call upon you to improve quality and cut costs. Physician shortages, difficulty recruiting, and increased operating costs are the daily reality. Health care system costs, consumer directed insurance, numbers of uninsured, and shifting demographics continue to escalate. Group practice consolidation, expansion, and strategic alliances are on the rise. Investment in research at the national level is declining. Pharmaceutical companies are more reluctant to fund important research and so funding streams are drying up. The challenges in providing health care expand daily. Despite these challenges, improving the health and well being of the public will always remain part of the healthcare industry’s mission. That mission is also reflected in the essence of CSR. It is an extension of the healthcare industry’s core business activities. What is CSR? CSR, (also known as “Corporate Responsibility” and “Social Responsibility”), is not limited to “going green”; it encompasses a wide range of programs. It is the strategic creation and maintenance of socially impactful programs, products, or services that improves competitive context, enriches employees, provides a positive contribution to the community and enhances an organization’s public profile. • Traditional corporate philanthropy—cash donation • Donation of non-cash resources • Social outreach and support • Free Services to underserved populations • Public and professional education • Environment and Sustainability Programs • Employee volunteerism • Employee giving • Matching gifts • Establish non-profit entity or foundation • Partner with NGO’s and agencies—local, national, or international; consultative support Writing a check is no longer enough—stakeholders and employees care and want a say. CSR in the healthcare context provides an opportunity to present a human face to the public and a link to the communities in which the company operates. In order to be successful, however, a CSR program must be aligned and integrated with the practice’s core business objectives and core competencies. It must consider all stakeholders: employees, communities, patients and patient-advocacy groups, customers, investors, industry organizations, suppliers, government, regulatory, and health authorities, and non governmental agencies. The Case for CSR 1. It provides an outlet for your organization’s existing efforts to improve patient care and provide a benefit to the community. Notwithstanding the current healthcare environment, the reason why healthcare professionals entered the profession remains the same: to be involved in the care, treatment, and cure of those suffering from medical ailment and disease. Many have a strong desire to give back to the community and may already be engaged in charitable work. In addition, sometimes patients, grateful for the care they or a family member receive, wish there was something they could do, some way to give back, to express their gratitude in the form of a donation, to further research, care and education. With a CSR program, charitable activities are legitimized and the donations have a place to go. 2. It is good for business. A myriad of studies have shown there is a causal link between CSR and revenue generation/profitability. Because it improves the company’s reputation, it results in increased patient attraction and retention. This in turn, helps the organization’s ability to invest in the best technologies and attract and retain the best healthcare professionals. 3. It is strategic. When linked to an entity’s core strategy, CSR could become part of a company's competitive advantage. 4. Clients/Patients prefer it. Studies have shown that when price and quality are equal consumers would switch brands or retailers if a company were associated with a good cause. Patients prefer to obtain healthcare from healthcare professionals who are engaged in good works. Customers prefer to buy from companies who are socially responsible. CSR increases patient loyalty. 5. Investors/Stakeholders/The Public care. They want to know how their money is being used. 6. It is good public relations. It is an opportunity to make the public aware of your organization’s good works and the connections between their concerns and your services. It creates trust in your community. 7. It enhances employee recruitment and retention. With the current physician shortage in many specialties, it is important to consider that people want to work at a company where they share values and ethics. It creates a culture of trustworthiness and enhances productivity. It has become part of competition for talent. 8. It enhances Innovation and Creativity. 9. It is the right thing to do! How do you adopt CSR at your organization? There are many ways to adopt CSR: promoting charitable giving among employees, encouraging volunteerism, supporting foreign missions, partnering with non profit entities, the donation or grant of money or non cash resources, matching gifts, or forming a non—profit entity. Enlist help of a consultant/expert. An outside consultant can keep the process focused and on track. How CORE can help CORE Corporate Consulting can help create, develop, and implement CSR plans and programs. CORE can help identify and establish firm consensus around the organization’s mission, goals, and programs, and the most effective strategies to achieve success within those programs. Core Corporate Consulting is a strategic services consulting firm. CORE Services include Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, Strategic Planning, Board Governance/Counseling, Succession Planning, and Interim Management. Industry focus areas include healthcare, high technology, manufacturing, non-profit, and the arts in start up, emerging, and mature stages of development.
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