Healthcare Business Trends Essay

2074 words - 9 pages

Trends come and go, and this is especially true in the healthcare industry where everything is currently constantly changing. It is always important to analyze pros and cons of business trends when deciding whether to implement them in an organization. While there are countless trends to consider, six in particular will be the topic of this discussion: Mergers and acquisitions, consumerism and the role of the patient, outsourcing, Lean Six Sigma, Medicaid Expansion, and Bring Your Own Device.

In the ever-changing health care world, different business and finance trends come and go. In the midst of all the uncertainty, there is only one thing for ...view middle of the document...

In the name of getting ready for a healthcare reimbursement environment that places more emphasis on quality and continuity of care and less on fee-for-service payment, hospital executives increasingly are seeking to buy or sell hospitals using less-common ownership structures, helping to boost the number of deals. (Barr 2013) Barr also states that partnerships between for profit and not-for-profit hospital systems can be beneficial for all parties involved because “trustees of a not-for-profit hospital considering a sale might be attracted to the for-profit partner's financial and operational expertise and the not-for-profit's partner's clinical quality and reputation. And both of the buyers would view the deals as a way to speed growth.” While more consolidations are expected in 2013, concern has been expressed about monopolies and rises in health care costs. (Lewis Dolan 2013)
The trend of consumerism and how the role of the patient is expected to drive health care delivery, especially in the primary care setting, is another change to keep an eye on. (Lewis Dolan 2013) Consumers are now more informed about health care and they are demanding a higher level of service. “Keeping patients happy will not only help patient satisfaction and retention, it also will help physicians' pay,” said Warren Skea, director of PwC Health Industries Advisory. He also states that since more payment models are tying patient satisfaction to payment, population health models will have to rely on good relationships between physicians and patients. Skea describes PCPs as the “quarterbacks,” coordinating the care, reconciling medications, and managing information and activities among other physician an specialists in a much more coordinated way than in the past, therefore “changing that role and the dynamic between patient and physicians.” Skea also states that this is a role that physicians were not expected to play two years ago, due to the necessary technology and infrastructure that was not present. But the partnerships and consolidations discussed in the previous section have helped create this new trend.
Outsourcing is a trend that has been fairly commonplace in the business world, especially in the past few years, but not necessarily something that comes to mind when people think of the healthcare industry. Lower reimbursement rates and desperate need to reduce operating costs have driven hospitals to turn to outside contractors for services such as construction, medical staffing, food services, and information technology. It’s projected that most hospitals will have to reduce costs by 20% by 2020. (Cocchi 2013) “Whether it's called outsourcing, partnering or another term, hospitals and health systems continue to use that approach as they realize that much of the expertise and resources they need, especially in the new era of value-based care, aren't available in-house,” said Modern Healthcare journalist Beth Kustcher. According to Modern Healthcare’s...

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