Among the din and uncertainty, some clarity can be found. Indeed, the immediate future for the healthcare sector can be summed up by these trends, which Strategy&PwC have dubbed the New Health Economy:
- Consumers will increasingly play a decision-making role in their healthcare coverage and treatments.
- The federal government will further solidify its position as healthcare market maker.
- Insurance reimbursements will become stingier.
- Employers will look for ways to remain paternalistic by exploring new care and funding models such as bundles.
The coming year will serve as another waypoint in the evolution of the healthcare industry toward a more competitive and efficient marketplace. Booz and Company is optimistic about cost-saving innovations, the entry of new consumer-savvy competitors to the marketplace, and the flourishing of genuinely new models like productized and virtual health. The process will remain evolutionary and thus slow, nonlinear, and massively parallel, with an occasional dead end. Those hoping for a great leap forward will likely be disappointed. Those prepared to compete over the long term will succeed.
Where are things headed in Ashtabula County? UH and ACMC continue to grow and reach out. But what about wellness and the ability of residents and employees to live in a healthier way? And in so doing, avoid the need for healthcare.