3 healthcare cost-control trends for 2014

In light of increasing healthcare costs, providers should keep an eye out for key trends in the second quarter of 2014, according to Small Business Trends.

Here are three of them:

  1. Greater emphasis on cost-control accountability: As costs increase, providers will seek more accountability from themselves and patients as a way of bringing those costs under control, according to the article. "The continued development of accountability strategies could mean more predictable and controlled costs for employers and employees may truly begin to see lower or no-cost healthcare services. The onus is on both parties to see through these aspirations," the article states.

  2. Increased use of private insurance exchanges: Insurance exchanges continue to gain momentum, with a majority of health systems and hospitals in talks to join one. These exchanges, the article states, help control costs by giving patients the option to purchase the coverage that best suits them and operate from a fixed stipend through their employers. Despite these benefits, there are concerns that exchanges could hurt nonprofit hospitals' finances, with a report from Moody's Investors Services saying exchange-related risks could "largely negate the benefits of a declining uninsured population in 2014."

  3. Adapting to the needs of younger generations: Younger consumers will drive trends in healthcare and healthcare marketing this year, and providers and employers alike should take advantage of this by integrating digital technology like mobile apps and online tools, according to the article. The healthcare model of the future, according to a Forbes column earlier this year, "will be based on a model of seamless information gathering, collation, analytics and dissemination," FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Non-profit hospitals in particular should watch for several 2014 trends, FierceHealthcare previously reported, including shifting patient demographics, the need to attract and retain a new generation of employees, and diversification of their fundraising bases.

To learn more:
- here's the article