Industry leaders give mixed reviews about the future of healthcare

Healthcare leaders across the country are uncertain about the future of medicine in the wake of sweeping changes from the Affordable Care Act, but many are optimistic about the industry's possibilities.

FierceHealthcare recently asked 106 senior executives, department directors, administrators and staff members from integrated health systems, hospitals and private practices about their thoughts on the future of the industry as a whole and their individual professional aspirations.

Leaders gave mixed responses about their thoughts on the future of medicine, especially how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will impact hospitals and healthcare organizations.

"With the current changes occurring in healthcare, it will be interesting to see how the catalysts in motivating physicians in providing outstanding patient care shifts from fee-for-service to a more socialized healthcare system," a department head at a medium-sized hospital responded.

However, some said change is good. "Medicine is constantly evolving--what it looks like today is different than 20 years ago. We are moving towards a more mobile/socially networked population that will have higher demands of our providers. We will need to move towards different models of care and staffing models (i.e. greater utilization of other practitioners)," said a department head from a large hospital.

One administrator from an integrated healthcare system wrote that the industry is "in a constant state of change and with an unstable economy, it's a challenge to find ways to provide outstanding quality care with expenses continuing to rise while reimbursement continues to shrink. But we'll continue to find ways to make it all work while providing the best care possible to our patients." 

This uncertainty may contribute to why half of the respondents said they were likely to change roles within the next five years. Many of those who said they'd likely undergo a professional change reported they wanted to move up the ladder or transition to a management position at another organization.