When you agreed to serve on the board of a hospital, you probably knew that health care was changing. But I bet you didn't anticipate how sweeping that transformation would be — from how providers are reimbursed to how and where care is delivered; from medical technology that's continuously evolving to breakthrough treatments for all kinds of diseases; from skyrocketing drug prices to the rise of consumerism.

Two of our articles this month focus on issues that need to be top of mind for hospital leaders like you. Our cover story looks at the bad guys who are trying to break through your digital security wall to steal patient information. Most of them aren’t interested in the medical records themselves; they want names, addresses, credit card numbers and other data that will help them carry out their financial shenanigans.

And in one of our feature stories, the spotlight is on bundled payment, a model of Medicare reimbursement meant to encourage hospitals, physicians and post-acute care providers to coordinate care, lower spending and improve quality. Bundled payment could go a long way toward defining your hospital’s position in the community’s continuum of care.

These two articles are intended as primers to help guide board and executive discussions. As always, we like to give you the opportunity to augment that basic knowledge by pointing out other useful resources.

For example, the Center for Health Care Governance is now putting together a special report on cybersecurity. It will be available later this year, and we will make sure you know how to find it and how to use it effectively.

As for bundled payment, the American Hospital Association last month released an issue brief that spells out in more detail the philosophy behind the concept, the opportunities and challenges for providers, and the issues providers should consider when entering a bundled payment program. For more, go to www.aha.org/bundling.