I know it’s cliché to say the healthcare industry is in the midst of a sea change, but nevertheless, all of us who have spent our careers in healthcare feel it – every day. I think many patients and healthcare consumers do too.
Healthcare continues to dominate elections, dinner-table conversations and headlines. Among the most-widely covered stories of 2017 are action by the President and Congress to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act, the merger of CVS and Aetna, Amazon’s plans to enter – and disrupt – the drug supply chain business, and healthcare costs, especially the price increases on 2018 Obamacare plans.
As I look back on 2017, a number of themes emerge. At Geneia, we spent much of the year talking and writing about:
- The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA),
- Physician burnout and the power of technology solutions to reduce the administrative burdens of physicians,
- How physicians, health plans and employers are using advanced analytics to identify people with rising-risk and intervene earlier to prevent chronic illness,
- The use of analytic insights to fuel collaboration and alignment across the healthcare industry in support of improved health for patients and populations,
- The people on the frontlines of healthcare’s evolution to value-based care and their acute need for new tools and, in many cases, new skills to effectively manage populations,
- Payer provider convergence.
Payer Provider Convergence
Payer provider convergence is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I wholeheartedly believe advanced analytics solutions like Geneia’s Theon® platform are enabling health plans and healthcare providers to easily collaborate and align around shared values and goals – and this enhanced collaboration leads to success for the health plan, network providers and their patients. I spent much of 2017 discussing this issue, and expect I will do even more in 2018.
2018 Health IT Predictions
As we began our 2018 planning, I asked the leaders of Geneia,
- “What is your one health IT prediction for 2018?” and
- “Why is that your prediction?”
Here are a sampling of the responses:
“We’ll see even more innovation and disruption in healthcare led, in part, by companies historically outside of the industry such as Amazon, Google and Salesforce.”
- Steve Bennett, Vice President of Business Development
“I predict the explosion of clinical data feeds, psychographic data, and analytics pushing the identification of at-risk individuals for engagement in population health programs. The use of enhanced benefit incentives will drive interest in participation in population health programs.”
- Jennifer Chambers, MD, Chief Medical Officer
“Precision medicine will become far more mainstream, with an expansion of insurance coverage for a range of tests to ensure effectiveness of medications and treatments.”
- Heather Lavoie, Chief Strategy Officer
“I think we are finally going to see the beginnings of some common usage of blockchain in healthcare. Its first application will be in patient identity but I see uses of it in payer and patient contracts and population health.”
- Fred Rahmanian, Chief Technology Officer
“My one health IT prediction for 2018 is much greater adoption of digital health interventions, as wearables, online assessments, community-deployed biometric devices and more continue to proliferate the market and additional populations use them.”
- Shelley Riser, RN, BSN, MSHA, Vice President of Consulting Services and Clinical Innovations
“As our health system converts to more value-based arrangements to deliver the highest level of care at the lowest possible price, health IT companies will continue to develop technologies to support that transition. Competitors will team up to provide the best of their collective solutions and companies with synergistic offerings will combine to offer a holistic solution supporting the entire healthcare continuum.”
- Kevin Schwartz, Vice President of Operations
Beginning early in the New Year, Geneia will publish a series of blogs that elaborate on our 2018 predictions, including mine:
- Healthcare consolidation will accelerate due, in part, to the increasing convergence of payers and providers.
- Some of this consolidation will be in the form of companies from outside the healthcare industry acquiring or merging with healthcare organizations.
In addition to our health IT predictions, the leaders of Geneia believe the healthcare industry will be focused on the following themes in 2018 – and we’ll be writing about these too:
- MIPS/MACRA preparation
- The opioid crisis and medication adherence
- Patient engagement, patient-centered care and consumerism
- Payer provider convergence
- Physician burnout, and
- Quality measures, including HEDIS® and Medicare Star ratings
I hope you’ll tune in for future posts. Without a doubt, 2018 promises to be yet another year of change for the healthcare industry. We look forward to sharing our insights and analyses with you.