The year 2015 is nearly a wrap, and it’s safe to say that providers have traversed some of their roughest terrain yet—and lived to tell about it. Marked by unprecedented change and transition, the healthcare community at large has successfully navigated the mammoth ICD-10 implementation, achieved Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation, and taken the next turn in the paradigm shift to value-based care.

Indeed, the industry has earned its proverbial pat on the back and should take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief. At the same time, providers should take advantage of the holiday slow-down to reflect on lessons learned, let go of what’s done and start looking toward what’s next. Although every organization will have its own list, here’s my perspective on five key things that providers should leave behind in 2015.

#1: The ICD-10 transition

Many didn’t think it could be done, and others didn’t know where to begin, but the industry crossed the ICD-10 finish line. ICD-10 represents a critical step toward higher quality care. Although providers must continue to monitor progress, early indicators suggest that our clients are off to a great start and will carry that success into the new year.

#2: Distractions that pull focus from patient care

The noise on the regulatory front was nearly deafening in 2015 as providers worked in earnest to meet new guidelines and comply with the changing reimbursement landscape. Even though national initiatives will continue to evolve in 2016, providers must get back to their core purpose and prioritize patient care through better systems and processes.

#3: Reluctance to embrace risk

The need to move from fee-for-service reimbursement models to fee-for-value is no longer just fodder for thought leadership—it’s reality. At this point, reluctance to embrace risk-bearing care delivery will actually increase an organization’s risk for losing revenue because the practice will be left behind as its industry peers advance.

#4: Episodic care delivery

Population health management is a huge industry “buzzphrase” that may seem overwhelming for the average physician practice. That said, providers should embrace proactive care management for two reasons: 1) it’s the right thing to do, and 2) it will be necessary for positioning in risk-bearing arrangements. Effectively addressing population health requires the right infrastructure and tools, and providers should be thinking about what current systems and processes need to be enhanced or eliminated to effectively position the practice for the future.

#5: Resistance to change

There is one constant in healthcare today: change. Survival in the evolving, value-based world requires a willingness to problem solve, adapt, and advance. Now is the time for physician practices to leave behind their resistance, come together on a grassroots level, and lend their voices to the movement to make healthcare better.

Here at NextGen Healthcare, we’re listening to you and will continue to partner with providers at every operational level to advance industry best practices through innovation and forward-looking solutions moving into 2016 and beyond.

What are the things you are looking forward to leaving behind in 2015? Comment below, and tell us your thoughts.

Interested in learning more about some of our client’s success stories in 2015? Check out our case studies to learn more.