Over a year ago, we predicted that 2019 would be the era of health IT M&A, with the transition to value-based care as a primary driver. The M&A activity in the first half of 2018 is proof of this momentum – healthcare-related M&A increased 23% compared to the second half of 2017.
What makes a hospital great? Each year, a variety of industry lists designate which hospitals are ‘the best,’ including U.S. News & World Report rankings, CMS star ratings, Leapfrog grades and Truven Health Analytics. While many of these rankings use important metrics such as excellence in clinical care, patient outcomes and physician satisfaction, they often fail to recognize the intangible piece of what it truly takes to make a great hospital – culture. Great hospitals embrace foundational values that support day-to-day operations and encourage innovative ideas for continuous improvement.
The healthcare data explosion has prompted thorny debates over data ownership and access. Obviously, patients have a vested interest in having access to their own personal health history, but the data holds value for other stakeholders as well. For example, providers need a complete patient picture to provide personalized care, and researchers want to aggregate and analyze data to establish trends and predictive insights.
The march toward value-based care has prompted a seemingly endless number of vendors to claim they have the ‘secret sauce’ that will help health systems and vendor partners succeed in an ever-evolving market.
With so many options, decision-makers must separate false promises from real opportunities and identify the companies that will have staying power. Taking a thoughtful and strategic approach to analyzing options will help identify beneficial long-term partners. Continue reading
Driving toward value-based care first requires a healthy understanding of the environment in which we are operating. Though regularly criticized, the U.S. healthcare system is actually strong: we have some of the world’s best hospitals and doctors. Individual service lines can provide attentive and effective care, whether it is cardiology, endocrinology or oncology.
However, we are falling short by failing to pull these service lines together. That is where the challenge lies. By focusing on wellness, we have the capability to deliver collaborative care and truly transformative outcomes.
The number of quality initiatives is rapidly rising in the healthcare industry as stakeholders shift their focus toward the value of patient care. In addition, with the recent implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the rules surrounding healthcare reimbursement are being rewritten, incentivizing healthcare providers to prioritize the quality of patient visits over the quantity.
Historically, it has been difficult to achieve consensus on defining quality; therefore, it was not consistently measured. MACRA provides tools to assess quality of care, and lays the foundation for a future in which payers and providers must collaborate in new ways driven by patient data.
Over the last few years, the healthcare industry has undergone an incredible revolution. Mobility solutions deployed across the care continuum are providing higher quality patient care. The shift from fee-for-service to fee-for-value – no matter how the political environment affects the market – is prevailing. Beyond that, innovation and digital tools are supporting this shift. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 6,000 medical device companies. Around 80 percent of them have fewer than 50 employees. Creative solutions to longstanding problems abound.
With a new year just getting started, most realists recognize that for all intents and purposes ACA is here to stay. No matter what discourse has transpired or how the next presidential election turns out, we are down a path of value-based care with no turning back. With that in mind, 2016 will see consumers having no other choice but to get more involved in their healthcare spend. Many more people are now insured, and benefit designs increasingly place more burden on the consumer to understand what’s covered, what’s not, and how best to spend their healthcare dollars. With this backdrop, here are four developments I expect to see: Continue reading