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In the upcoming year, persistent uncertain and risk is projected for the US health industry, according to PwC’s Health Reach Institute’s newly released Healthcare trend report. The challenges of 2017, heated debates over health and tax reform and natural disasters could echo in 2018. Payers have already been strategizing for 2018, but looking at the 12 defining healthcare trends for 2018 can assist payers with long-term planning.
HRI developed its list of a dozen top issues through analyses of surveys of US consumers, provider, insurer and pharmaceutical executives, in-depth interviews with industry leaders and examination of data and policy trends.
The top defining healthcare trends to watch HRI identified include:
- The continuing battle of the opiod crisis. There is a role for everyone across the healthcare landscape, from prescribers, to payers, to the pharmaceutical industry, in order to reverse this trend.
- Social determinants come to the forefront. The healthcare industry must look beyond the four walls of the hospital and take a holistic approach with the full profile of a patient, beyond their specific health issue.
- Price transparency moves to the statehouse. It is important to watch what happens at the state level, as past state healthcare reform efforts have been brought to the national stage.
- Natural disasters create devastation that lasts long after the event passes. Health systems and pharmaceutical companies who conduct proactive scenario planning can increase the pace of recovery and avoid making premature decisions that could do harm in the long-term.
- Medicare Advantage swells in 2018. Medicare Advantage is projected to cover nearly 21 million people in 2018, a 5% increase over 2017, providing a new competitive opportunity for health insurers. However, many eligible consumers don’t know these plans exist, so insurers must work to raise awareness of options, and tailor those options to best meet patient needs.
- Health reform isn’t over, it’s just more complicated. 2018 will likely bring continued efforts to reduce and cap federal Medicaid spending, expand access to lower-premium health insurance, loosen ACA consumer protections, soften the employer and individual mandates and repeal ACA taxes and fees.
For the remaining six of the 12 changes, and to explore the three strategies traditional health organizations and new entrance should consider, view the full report HERE.
BHM watches health trends and understands the importance of improving and changing with the industry. Click HERE to learn more about how BHM helps your organization address opportunities.