It’s that time of year when everyone is sharing their thoughts on healthcare predictions and trends for 2017. And the Healthcare Executive Group wants to take this opportunity to share what it considered the Top 10 Priorities, Issues and Challenges facing healthcare supply-side constituents: health plans, payers, providers and health systems.
History of HCEG Top 10 List
The HCEG Top 10 list of Healthcare Priorities, Issues and Challenges has been a pillar of the Healthcare Executive Group for the last 12 years. The list is developed each year during HCEG’s annual forum and reflects what HCEG healthcare executive members think will be their primary focus for the following year.
The HCEG Top 10 list for 2017 includes the following items:
- Value-based Payments: targeting specific medical conditions to manage cost and quality of care
- Total Consumer Health: improving member’s overall well-being – medical, social, financial, and environmental
- Clinical and Data Analytics: leveraging big data with clinical evidence to segment populations, manage health and drive decisions
- Cybersecurity: protecting the privacy and security of consumer information
- Cost Transparency: growing legislation and consumer demand
- Harnessing Mobile Health Technology: improving disease management, member engagement, and data collection/distribution
- Addressing Pharmacy Costs: implementing strategies to address growth of pharma costs versus benefits to quality of care and total medical costs
- Care Redesign: leveraging team-based care models, focusing on behavioral health and social needs
- Accessible Points of Care: telehealth, retail clinics and micro-hospitals vs. large, integrated systems
- Next Generation ACOs: additional programs in bundled payment, episodes of care-shared savings, and growing participant base
To be sure, the items on the HCEG Top 10 list may not be considered predictions as much as they are ‘important areas for those on healthcare’s supply side to be aware of in 2017.’
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” – Yogi Berra
And it’s not just HCEG members who compile lists of predictions and trends for the healthcare industry. In the waning weeks of the year, industry professionals, health plan and hospital system CEO’s, leading consulting firms like PWC and Accenture, research firms like Gartner, media reporters, and a host of others all share their take on what they consider to be important trends and predictions for the upcoming year. Here’s a list of some of those sharing their 2017 Healthcare Predictions.
Given the ubiquity of “predictions for healthcare in 2017” and the fact that healthcare was a primary issue in the U.S. presidential election, it seemed that comparing HCEG ‘s Top 10 list to the summarized results of 2017 healthcare predictions made by others would confirm HCEG’s list and/or call out differences. The fact that the HCEG Top 10 list was compiled BEFORE the presidential election and all of the comparison lists were created AFTER the election is envisioned to, at least somewhat, account for any impact the election may have had on people’s interpretation of priority and value.
Collection of Predictions about Healthcare & Healthcare Technology in 2017
To establish a baseline list of predictions and trends for healthcare in 2017, the lists contained in this blog post were reviewed with categorized based on their primary and secondary categories with the results compared to the items on the HCEG Top 10 list. A few facts and observations about this baseline list:
- 36 lists containing a total of 179 “predictions” were curated
- Only predictions that were clearly understood and of sufficient granularity were included
- Each prediction was coded with one of the following 19 primary categories
- Where possible, a secondary category was assigned
Analysis of 2017 Predictions
Most Frequently Referenced Categories
In terms of most frequently referenced predictions (regardless as too rank) found among the 30 lists reviewed, Emerging Technologies, Reform/Regulations, Analytics & Big Data, Value-based Reimbursement, Access, and Consumerism were among the most frequently cited areas of focus in 2017.
|Category||Count||Corresponding HCEG Top 10 Item(s)|
|Emerging Technologies||29||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Reform/Regulations||24||8-Care Redesign (loose correlation)|
|Analytics & Big Data||19||3-Clinical and Data Analytics|
|Value-Based Reimbursement||16||1-Value-based Payments|
|Access||13||9-Accessible Points of Care|
|Consumerism||11||2-Total Consumer Health|
7-Addressing Pharmacy Costs
|Mobile Health||6||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Digital Transformation||5||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Collaboration||5||10-Next Generation ACOs|
|Mergers & Acquisitions||4|
|Health Literacy||4||2-Total Consumer Health|
|Pharmacy||3||7-Addressing Pharmacy Costs|
|Precision Medicine||2||8-Care Redesign|
|Wearables||2||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Patient Experience||1||2-Total Consumer Health|
9-Accessible Points of Care
Categories by Top 3 Rankings
In an attempt to present the data in a more generalized fashion, the following table reflects the ranking of the categories based on the sum of the top three rankings for each item.
|Category||Count||Top 3 Count||Top 3 % of Count||Corresponding HCEG Top 10 Item(s)|
|Reform/Regulations||24||15||63%||8-Care Redesign (loose correlation)|
|Emerging Technologies||29||14||48%||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Analytics/Big Data||19||12||63%||3-Clinical and Data Analytics|
|Consumerism||11||8||73%||2-Total Consumer Health|
|Access||13||7||54%||9-Accessible Points of Care|
|Value-based Care||16||7||44%||1-Value-based Payments|
7-Addressing Pharmacy Costs
|Mobile Health||6||6||100%||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Collaboration||5||5||100%||10-Next Generation ACOs|
|Digital Transformation||5||5||100%||6-Harnessing Mobile Technology|
|Health Literacy||4||3||75%||2-Total Consumer Health|
|Mergers & Acquisitions||4||3||75%|
|Pharmacy||3||3||100%||7-Addressing Pharmacy Costs|
Insights on How HCEG List Compares to General 2017 Predictions
While certainly subject to some interpretation and discussion, the following four areas listed by many of those sharing their 2017 Predictions were NOT directly matched to any of the items on HCEG’s Top 10 list.
|Category||Prediction from Article|
Note: Items in above table were culled from various articles listing 2017 Predictions.
Overall Rankings of 2017 Predictions
The following major categories of 2017 Healthcare Predictions are based on the rank assignments as noted by the author of each of the individual articles/posts.
|#1 Ranking||36||% of Ttl||#4 Ranking||22||% of Ttl|
|Emerging Technologies||4||11%||Analytics/Big Data||4||18%|
|Consumerism||3||8%||#5 Ranking||17||% of Ttl|
|#2 Ranking||34||% of Ttl||Value-Based Care||2||12%|
|Analytics/Big Data||6||18%||Processing Efficiency||2||12%|
|Reform/Regulations||5||15%||#6 Ranking||12||% of Ttl|
|Mobile Health||2||6%||#7 Ranking||11||% of Ttl|
|#3 Ranking||31||% of Ttl||Reform/Regulations||2||18%|
|Emerging Technologies||5||16%||Analytics/Big Data||1||9%|
|Mobile Health||3||10%||#8 Ranking||6||% of Ttl|
|Analytics/Big Data||3||10%||Emerging Technologies||3||50%|
Note: Some lists didn’t explicitly rank their predictions as #1, #2, #3, etc. In those cases, rank was assigned based on the precedence of the prediction in the article. I.e. if a specific prediction was listed before another prediction , it was assumed that prediction ranked higher.
The Most Frequently Referenced Categories, Categories by Top 3 Rankings and Overall Rankings of 2017 Predictions Results listed above provide a few instances of correlation with and diversion from the 2017 HCEG’s Top 10 list.
Note: The contents of the tables below were were culled from the various articles listing 2017 Predictions.
On area of divergence between the HCEG Top 10 list and 2017 Healthcare Predictions Baseline is that Emerging Technologies were not clearly identified by HCEG as of primary focus in 2017. In general, “emerging technologies” are identified as things like 3D printing, AI/machine learning, augmented reality, Blockchain, cloud, drones, Internet of Things, medical devices and robotics. One may argue that, given HCEG’s membership is skewed toward health plans/payers, that these emerging technologies are not part and parcel of a healthplan/payer-based focus. Given their dominance and potential value, perhaps they should be?
Some Predictions on Emerging Technologies
|Adoption of technologies within realm of AI, including RPA and machine learning, will move very fast and take over in many different ways.|
|Blockchain will move from theory to practice, as pilots and production-ready applications become a reality.|
|Hype around the Cloud quiets down as it becomes the primary way to build enterprise architecture.|
|60% of healthcare applications will collect real-time location data and clinical IoT device data and embed cognitive capabilities to discover patterns|
|Gadgets will continue to be commoditized and competition will grow|
|IoT will save $1 Trillion a year in maintenance, services & consumables|
|50% increase in the use of robots to deliver medications, supplies, and food throughout the hospital|
Given the largely unexpected results of the presidential election, it’s not a surprise that the uncertainty of healthcare reform and regulations jumped to the top position for impacts to healthcare in 2017. Elections have consequences. No doubt as one prognosticator stated “The Trump Presidency Will Rock the Healthcare Boat.”
Some Predictions on Health Reform/Regulations
|Massive confusion on status of the ACA|
|President-elect Donald Trump will likely not fulfill his promise to completely repeal the ACA|
|The Trump Presidency Will Rock the Healthcare Boat|
|Regulation drives demand for advanced data and analytics capabilities|
|Movement by employers away from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans and increased participation in private exchanges. –|
|Expand the use of health savings accounts for consumers.|
|Medicaid expansion costs will be incorporated in the Medicaid block grants|
|Republicans will attempt to “modernize” Medicare through vouchers or tax credits|
|There will be continued movement to narrow network products in an attempt to hold down costs.|
|Federal insurance license changes allowing for competition and selling over state lines|
|Healthcare startups: Make nice with regulators in 2017|
Analytics & Big Data
Predictions about the importance of healthcare analytics made by HCEG members was one area that matched the general baseline as ranking #3.
Some Predictions on Analytics & Big Data
|AI (artificial intelligence) or machine learning to translate big data into actionable insights|
|Convo on healthcare becoming one of most interesting “Big Data” petri dishes society has to offer begins.|
|Evidence-based decision making (expanded use of data and analytics) to eliminate unnecessary utilization and increase patient safety|
|Contextualization algorithms will advance exponentially|
|Advancing data governance|
|Combining structured and unstructured data|
|Consortiums of data: genomic, social, EMR, complaint and prescription data, emerge that will create insights never before possible|
|Mastery of unstructured data will deliver customer insight|
|Moving to metadata|
|Taking advantage of real-time data|
|Startups in analytics space begin to challenge large, incumbent players and healthcare organizations will begin to actively engage with these new players.|
Value-based care and reimbursement were highly ranked on both the HCEG Top 10 list and the 2017 Healthcare Predictions Baseline. Given the importance of value-based reimbursement and general bi-partisan support for value-based initiatives like MACRA, VBR should largely survive drastic alteration under the new administration.
Some Predictions on Value-based Reimbursement
|Value-based care will drive adoption of tools for chronic disease management|
|Easing the training wheels off value-based payment|
|2017 will be a year for learning about the alternative reimbursement methodologies and planning for the compliance program requirements of the future.|
|Preparing medical students for work in a value-based world|
|More performance-based measures beyond cost to quality and satisfaction|
|Renewed and upgraded Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) swings back into importance, now for Value Based Care Costing.|
HCEG members ranked ‘access’ topics lower than the general baseline.
Some Predictions on Access
|The rise of decentralized healthcare and the decline of hospitals.|
|Significant rise in voluntary services/ healthcare for the wealthy|
|Self-select virtual care – for convenience|
|Telehealth will no longer be on the outskirts, pushed into the mainstream with expanded reimbursement policies, usage and outreach programs|
Additional Insight Can Be Obtained Here
Raw Data – here is the raw data collected from the various articles on 2017 Healthcare Predictions
Following is a List of Articles used for this analysis – See more info here.