Nationwide healthcare trends create urgent need for innovation

Healthcare leaders "don't have a choice" but to innovate, author, consultant and futurist Ian Morrison told the National Healthcare Innovation Summit on Wednesday, Healthcare IT News reports.

"We have to innovate," Morrison said at the Boston summit. "We have hit a wall." Morrison described several nationwide healthcare trends that create an urgent need for change and new ideas, according to the article, including:

  • The popularity of public and private health exchanges.

  • Hospital consolidation, potentially leading to between 100 and 200 large regional systems nationwide. Getting these "behemoths" to innovate is its own challenge, Morrison said, but "[m]ore of these large behemoth businesses are willing to take the risks. They are getting into the health plans."

  • Employers stepping back from their role in healthcare purchasing. "Every purchaser has become an activist about wellness--some would say 'Stalinist,'" Morrison said.

  • Americans learning to live on Medicare, necessitating 10 to 20 percent in cost reduction. "All the assets in the old model become liabilities in the new model," he said.

Morrison described two competing visions for healthcare in America, according to the article: the "Berwickian Nirvana," named after former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick, in which large accountable care organizations help rationalize healthcare delivery, and the view of consumers whose high-deductible health plans incentivize market discipline among providers. These two views "need to be reconciled," he said.

In addition, he said American healthcare still needs to create necessary innovations to handle the changes, including helping the population learn to live on Medicare, clinical integration, business model integration management and a high-quality, accountable healthcare culture, according to the article.

To learn more:
- here's the article