FierceHealthcare's Editorial Advisory Council offer insights on the road ahead in 2020

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Recently, we recruited a team of industry experts to assist FierceHealthcare as its new Editorial Advisory Council.

So, naturally, we turned to them to get an idea of what's around the corner for healthcare in 2020.

Take a look at what they had to say below. 

A return to home-based delivery models "in earnest"

Craig Samitt 
(BCBS of Minnesota)

"Given the growing unaffordability of volume-based and facility-centric care delivery models, we will see a return of house calls and explosive growth of home-based care models. 2020 will likely see health plans, technology companies and retail entering home-based care in earnest—all with a desire to reinvent care delivery.

The focus of AI’s utility will pivot from administrative value to clinical value. As organizations shift to value, AI will be used to prevent illness, predict disease and promote evidenced-based care rather than driving more production and volume-driven profit."

— Craig Samitt, president and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Industry forced to respond to disruption from outsiders

Rita Numerof
Rita Numerof
(Numerof & Associates)

"The individually small, but collectively significant outside-sector disruptions that took place this past year caused the momentum for change to balloon significantly. I believe it will continue along this path in 2020, giving way to the most transformative decade in healthcare history. 

Much of the action we saw in 2019 came from Amazon, Apple and Google, as well as retail pharmacies like CVS and payers like UnitedHealthcare. They saw an opportunity to offer a lower-cost, more convenient product or service than what traditional care delivery organizations were offering. Because they introduced an alternative, they simultaneously threatened hospitals’ and health systems’ deeply entrenched way of doing business. 

As these new competitors continue to apply pressure in 2020, care delivery organizations will be forced to act. And once that action starts, it will undoubtedly snowball into the much-needed healthcare transformation consumers are calling for."

— Rita Numerof, co-founder and president, Numerof & Associates

Ed McCallister

Refocus away from the "flashy"

“I’d like to see the healthcare IT industry refocus on creating the best possible experience for our patients while not getting distracted by flashy technology for the sake of technology. Patients and clinicians are inundated with apps, systems and technology services that aim to manage and improve care.

To date, that experience has been disjointed and uncoordinated. For example, many of the apps and systems cannot ‘talk’ to each other, nor do they integrate with the EMR. And they often do not provide patients with useful or engaging information. It’s time to connect the dots by keeping the patient at the center.”

— Ed McCallister, chief information officer, UPMC

Telehealth as the standard

A headshot of Michael Archuleta
Michael Archuleta
(Mt. San Rafael Hospital)

“Healthcare organizations need to evolve in their business practices to transform their beliefs and start viewing telehealth as a standard of care option for primary care virtual consultation. It’s predicted that the United States healthcare payers will offer patients more out of network options, whereas China plans to cover 70% of the nation’s public hospital under the government-backed telemedicine program by 2022.

In the next several years, 5G wireless will increase the potential for telehealth by adding more capabilities beyond the home. Rural regions, in particular, can benefit from these types of innovations, as ongoing wellness checks and virtual engagement programs can reduce the costs of care. With 5G, rural hospitals can have access to virtual, top of the line resources when needed, allowing them to better serve their communities and compete for patients’ healthcare dollars. Looking forward to the approach of the new year, we must wholeheartedly believe that our new CEO is the patient. If we do not prioritize our position in building asynchronous tools like telehealth innovation programs to better utilize 5G in hopes of collaboratively benefiting our patients both inside and outside the walls of our organizations, we will not be successful.

We must adopt the stance and belief that healthcare organizations and clinics are digital companies that happen to deliver healthcare services. Digital transformation will be the key to business success in 2020.”

— Michael Archuleta, chief information officer, Mt. San Rafael Hospital

Consolidation will accelerate

Jeff Patton

“Consolidation will accelerate in 2020. As the oncology market moves toward practices taking on more risk, having economies of scale will be essential for survival. It’s simple actuarial math. Without scale, oncology practices, even those with up to twenty physicians, will either have to drop out of Medicare’s Oncology Care Model (OCM) and commercial risk-based payment models or align with other groups to spread out the risk they’re assuming.  

I also see no end to oncology’s clinical explosion in 2020. We are still on a steep part of the innovation curve, which is great for patients. But the introduction of new – and potentially curative therapies – means manufacturers must find ways to price them in more affordable ways. The era of manufacturers relying on ‘what the market will bear’ is over for specialty drugs. I think in 2020, employers will continue to push against the high cost of drugs and manufacturers will have to better account for cost, risk and reward or the government will do it for them.”

— Jeff Patton, MD, President of Physician Services and Board member, OneOncology and CEO, Tennessee Oncology

If you would like to be considered for a role on FierceHealthcare's Editorial Advisory Council, please click here to learn more. The submissions will be reviewed quarterly.