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2 Responses

  1. 10 Ways The Future of Digital Health Can Run Wild

    I’m truly excited for the future of medicine – sometimes it feels like we’re living in a science -fiction novel.

    But genetic discrimination and the elimination of privacy are just some of the problems we’ll face if we let medical innovation run wild.

    To spark discourse, I made a list of the 10 most important ethical issues we will have to deal with.

    Read more: http://medicalfuturist.com/2016/05/11/10-ways-the-future-of-digital-health-can-run-wild/?ct=t(Newsletter_2014_07_177_17_2014)

    Bertalan Meskó MD PhD

    Like

  2. Key trends impacting the business of healthcare in 2017

    2017 will undoubtedly be a year of uncertainty: With a new administration looking to make sweeping changes across the board, making predictions on what next year will bring may be a challenge. And for the health care industry, change is most certainly on the horizon. Despite this, there are trends we do believe will be at the forefront as we look to next year and beyond, including the shift to value-based care, customer transformation, mergers and acquisitions, innovation and technology.

    Value-based care. The shift to value as the foundation for improved health care service and financing is accelerating among hospitals, health systems and physicians. Many health plans are taking leadership roles, working through new arrangements with hospitals and physician groups to elevate quality, create a more efficient system, and meet the needs of consumers. This will continue in 2017, particularly as MACRA, the Medicare Part B payment overhaul, takes effect in January 2017. MACRA has the potential to be truly transformative in the way doctors are paid. This is a game-changer that so far seems to have flown under the radar with bipartisan support, but it will have a big impact – this year and over the next several years – on how stakeholders across the health care industry conduct business.

    Customer transformation. Effective patient engagement is foundational to a positive patient experience. Patient engagement is the idea that patients and caregivers are actively and collaboratively involved in care operations – processing information, deciding what types and timing of treatment would fit best with their lives, and acting on their decisions. Patient engagement is crucial for achieving a sustainable and cost-effective health system. However, effective engagement is dependent on health literacy and consumers having the appropriate knowledge and confidence to evaluate and navigate the health care system. While needs will depend on health condition, disease stage, culture, income and education, and new technology solutions can help patients, caregivers, physicians and care team members deliver the most appropriate care when needed. Health information technology solutions, social media platforms, and performance analytics are important patient engagement aids to improve consumer decision-making, health behaviors, self-care, and treatment compliance.

    Mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Fewer hospitals and independent physician practices are choosing to “go it alone” in the battle against increasing competition and sharply climbing costs, opting instead to merge and form large health systems that can leverage economies of scale and broader service reach to withstand rising clinical, financial, and regulatory pressures. The continuing trend of “bigger is better” is apparent in the number of US announced hospital mergers and acquisitions going back as far as 1998. It’s likely that MACRA will further compound these pressures as many physicians opt to be part of a larger organization to lower their risk and gain access to a full spectrum of resources and capabilities. Additionally, M&A and divestiture activity will likely continue to play a significant role in life sciences companies’ strategies to gain scale and add new markets, new drugs, and novel technologies. In 2015, 236 pharma mergers and acquisitions were closed worldwide, worth over $403 billion combined.

    Innovation. With public and private payers making increased use of value-based pricing and real-world evidence to provide clinical and commercial insights into the value of products, life sciences companies should balance the pursuit of clinical innovation with the need for cost-efficiency. New research and development approaches, digital and technology-enabled health care, and big data and analytics are creating opportunities for innovation, but stakeholders are challenged to do so while under pressure to cut costs.

    Technology. Organizations will need to leverage technology to meet changing market dynamics. But, incorporating new technology, even as organizations are creating effective, transformative digital systems, remains a challenge for most of the industry. Distributed ledger technology, better known as blockchain, is catching on in the financial services and technology industries, and it could gain a foothold in health care. Blockchain simplifies and streamlines the management of contracts, record-keeping systems, and billing by centralizing processes and offering greater interoperability, transparency, connectivity, and accountability along the network. Additionally, with the explosion of mobile smartphone apps, health care should mirror other industries in making it easier for customers to shop for goods and services and to pay for their products. While blockchain might not fully shake out in 2017, it’s definitely a technology we’re keeping an eye on in the industry as one that could provide significant benefits for health plans.

    While 2017 may hold a lot of uncertainty and challenges for the industry, these trends are encouraging investments in solutions that reward keeping patients healthy, and even anticipating issues before they happen. These types of improvements offer a path toward transformative, positive change. While we can’t view next year in a crystal ball, we do know 2017 will be a time of change and excitement as the health care system moves to one where the patient is at the core.

    For further reading, please check out our Deloitte industry leadership’s outlook for 2017: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/life-sciences-and-health-care-industry-outlooks.html.

    Wendy Gerhardt Dorfman
    [Senior Manager]
    Deloitte Center for Health Solutions
    via An Miller RN MHA

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