Cost control, fraud detection are top issues for 2010

PricewaterhouseCoopers has issued a list of what it sees as the top 10 issues the healthcare industry will address next year, and not surprisingly, cost control was the top contender. The predictions for next year, which were prepared by PwC's Health Research Institute, include the following:

* An intense effort to wring costs out of the system, including purchasing, supply chains, administrative expenses and benefits coverage by employers.

* Greater efforts by governments to reward high-quality care and penalize waste.

* A stepped-up effort, through fraud prosecutions and detections of mistakes, to recoup the $1.6 billion savings needed to help balance the books on health reform.

* A growth in the number of employed physicians, as well as a realignment of physician groups into new models such as accountable care organizations.

* Alternative care delivery models such as retail clinics and telemedicine becoming more prevalent as health leaders struggle to control costs and increase care access.

These changes, and others articulated by PwC, are likely to have a "domino effect from one sector to another," making changes in health leaders' roles, responsibilities and relationships, the Institute reports.

To see the rest of PwC's predictions:
- read this press release
- review the report (.pdf - reg. req.)

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