4 super-sized healthcare trends

Healthcare leaders must adapt to regulatory, technology, medical and market changes that are forcing the re-invention of healthcare. A report from Mannett Health Solutions identifies 10 "megatrends" and the smaller movementsand sub-trends supporting these super-sized developments.

Here are four of interest:

Patients take control of their care: Consumers are becoming more informed about healthy living and how to manage their own health. In addition, healthcare exchanges now offer Americans more insurance options and many patients will choose high-deductible and cost-sharing plans, the report notes.They will demand more information on upfront costs, as well as information on chronic diseases and treatment options. Expect explosions in the growth in self-monitoring technologies.

Billing moves from volume to value: The new healthcare system will focus on higher quality, better outcomes and greater satisfaction, Manatt executives wrote. This focus on value requires hospital and health system leaders to improve the results for every dollar they spend. Leaders should expect new payment mechanisms, such as bundling agreements, risk-sharing and capitation arrangements. Cost effectiveness will also drive the growth of integrated delivery systems, risk-based healthcare, and reforms in medical education and medical malpractice. In addition, models will move to expanded team-based care with non-physician providers playing larger clinical roles.

Tech shifts care settings: Healthcare will be everywhere, the report said, and thanks to new technologies 50 percent of healthcare will move to homes and communities. Healthcare providers and patients will stay connected and informed via interoperable electronic health records, cloud-based computing, data shortage and smartphones that will help patients manage their own health in every possible setting.

Health systems super-size: To lower costs, increase efficiency and improve quality, payers, hospitals, health systems, pharmaceutical suppliers and other healthcare organizations will consolidate in the next 10 years. These mega-sized entities will cause the demise of independent practitioners and stand-alone hospitals, according to the report. As part of this trend, expect more attention on population health, integration of new electronic tools, growth of a multi-billion HIT and service industry that provides an infrastructure of care coordination and analytics, more narrow provider networks, and gaps in charity care and rural access as not-for-profit healthcare and small, community hospitals struggle to survive.

Other trends outlined in the report include harnessing data to increase value, personalized medicine and an uptick in medical tourism. 

To learn more:
- read the full report