Some things worth considering as we end 2017 and enter 2018;
First, in general; It only takes one highly loaded and disruptive issue in the geopolitical/military, social or economic arena to turn the market sectors (collectively) upside down.
Globally healthcare spending increases will be around 4 to 6% as efforts are advanced to improve quality and access in systems which may have lacked investment in infrastructure due to limited funding.
This may in some part be influenced by increasing “globalization” and will likely impact the cost of care to the individual consumer.
In the United States the country continues to not be in “lock step” as it relates to many factors.
External pressures at the national, regional and local level such as geography (rural vs. urban), population density, demographics, unemployment, insurance coverage and immigration are just some of the variables.
In addition (no specific order) some top of mind areas to consider;
- The future of the 340B program as well as the ACA are areas to watch and in advance of any changes put measures in place that limit any unintended consequences.
- The proposed Tax Bill will have an impact on federally funded research.
- At the current “run rate” China will surpass the United States in biomedical research.
- Technology will play an ever increasing role in connecting the consumer/patient with the healthcare system.
- “Cost shifting” to consumers may be slowing down as what may be considered “reasonable” limits (think high deductibles etc.) are increasingly exceeded.
- Narrow networks.
- Wellness initiatives to guard against burnout (in and out of the health sector) increase.
- Mergers, acquisitions and enhanced affiliations give rise to more health system “super regionals”.
- The demand for Population Health initiatives which focus on leveraging new technologies to address social determinants will expand.
- Novel financial models aimed at mitigating downward economic pressures will be tested.
- Cost containment measures will continue.
- New care delivery constructs which enhance effectiveness and efficiency will be pursued.