Three-quarters of Fortune 50 firms in booming health industry

Even though some hospitals and health systems in the country are consolidating or closing, a new report offers some hope for those in the healthcare industry. Seventy-six percent of Fortune 50 companies are in healthcare or have health divisions, according to a study by PwC Health Research Institute released yesterday.

Healthcare is expected to account for nearly 20 percent of the U.S. gross national product by 2019, according to PwC. Researchers attribute the boom to new products and services that consumers are willing to spend $13.6 billion of their own money on. For example, consumers are willing to spend $8.9 billion total on resources that rate physicians and hospitals, $4 billion on health-related video games, and $700 million on health apps or programs.

"The healthcare industry is not for the fainthearted. It is a highly regulated, complex industry, built on a system of third-party payments, and operates on principles foreign to companies that have succeeded in other industries," said Kelly A. Barnes, US health industries leader in a PwC press statement. "The organizations with the greatest potential for success will be those who understand the dynamics of the industry and identify the right niche where they can play a role in making the health system better."

What did the top companies have in common? The study pointed to common strategies among what PwC calls "successful pioneers." These companies focus on the dysfunctional or redundant parts of health systems, understand government regulations and implement new opportunities for growth, prosper in high-volume markets, and connect with clinicians and consumers through health data.

The report further elaborates on the boom of the healthcare industry. Nearly one in three Americans has or will work in healthcare. Jobs in healthcare soared 65 percent, while other industries only witnessed a 16 percent increase.

For more:
- download the full report
- check out the PwC press release