* * * * * This post sponsored by PwC. * * * * *
In 2020, US healthcare, and especially how it is delivered and how much we pay for it, will be top of mind. Politicians will float many bold plans for transforming the industry. Health system leaders will tout their investments in technology and transformation, as the US health industry works to catch up to the rest of the digital economy. The question for 2020 will be whether this digital transformation will benefit consumers — marking a new dawn for the US health industry and for the people whose lives depend on it. Here’s what’s top of mind as we head into 2020
- A looming tsunami of high prices: Facing a tsunami of high-priced gene and cell therapies and ever-rising provider prices in 2020, employers, public and commercial payers, and American consumers will seek—and sometimes find—creative ways to finance care, spread risk and ensure that their money is paying for value.
- Regulation trumps policy: Despite strong rhetoric on healthcare from campaigning politicians, the outcome of the 2020 election is unlikely to bring about profound, industry-shaking change. Instead, the heated political contest likely will determine the fate of Trump administration policies on Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, pricing transparency and trade.
- Consumers inch closer to DIY healthcare: In 2020, DIY healthcare takes on new meaning as American consumers will begin to finally reap benefits from the enormous investments in data collection, storage and analysis that have been made by the US health industry. Beyond offering them tools to monitor their vitals and at-home devices to test for strep throat or flu, companies are building business models around giving consumers access to their own data, with insights attached.
- US health organizations are seeking opportunities overseas and through innovation. Beware of the tax risks: US-based healthcare organizations increasingly are hunting for new ways to grow their healthcare mission overseas and through investments in novel technologies and business models. Their objectives can range from extending healthcare services to new communities to unearthing rich new sources of funds.
- A whole new you: Deals as makeovers: In 2020, organizations will make strategic deals not to just grow larger but instead to expand into new identities with platforms anchored in value, innovation, customer experience and population health. As they weigh their options, health companies will need to ensure that the deals they pursue pass the sniff test of employers and consumers seeking more affordable care.
- Equity and inclusion, not just diversity, as a business imperative: In 2020, health companies will align diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives with business goals and identify blind spots that are compromising their abilities to achieve the mission of providing equitable access to lifesaving care. They will begin to apply an inclusive and equitable lens to their research, products, and services. This focus will begin to address the need for the board of directors, leadership team and workforce to look like, think like, and understand the diverse patients they serve.
For more on the trends that will shape the US healthcare industry in 2020, please see PwC’s HRI report, Top health industry issues of 2020.
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