- PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute has released what it views will be the top issues for the healthcare industry in 2018.
- The institute outlined 12 trends that will shape the industry moving forward. The organization's predictions skew heavily toward cross-sector collaborations, strategic investments and creating efficiencies.
- "Healthcare organizations are going to need to build resiliency," Ben Isgur, director of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute, told Healthcare Dive. "It's the key theme for 2018. This is going to be the year where there will be a lot of forces on the healthcare system."
The central themes that PwC picked out this year shouldn't be a surprise for those keeping up with the news of the day. While varied, each of the three buckets the research firm uses to group the issues underscore the trending news of 2017, including natural disasters, the opioid crisis and cybersecurity.
For 2017, PwC had predicted the industry was going to have to get used to and understand topics such as drones, nutrition and artificial intelligence. Healthcare administrators will be on the hook to provide more action on the trends and news of the day that have trickled over the year, according to PwC. Such efforts will require more openness across sectors to understand business incentives for each players.
"2018 is going to be a year that will require a lot of collaboration," Isgur said.
The 12 issues going forward into 2018, according to PwC, are:
- Tackling the opioid crisis: This will require improved patient management and the use of tech to improve business collaborations and reduce opioid misuse.
- Renewing focus on social determinants of health: Expect more attention at the federal and state levels.
- Price transparency moves to the statehouse: Pricing should be made strategically and with an eye toward consumer perception of brand and value.
- Natural disasters create lasting impacts: In addition to bolstering physical and emergency resources, providers will need to build relationships with community groups to maintain a support infrastructure.
- Medicare Advantage will heat up: Competition in the space is already taking shape, but with baby boomers entering into the care continuum, plan providers are hoping to gain market share in the space.
- Healthcare reform will continue but its shape is unsure: Health organizations should watch the state capitals and should revisit businesses tightly tied to the ACA repeal/replace debate.
- Cybersecurity is still needed: Hackers have advanced from point-of-service attacks to ransomware. Hospital administrators will need to keep up with new hacker attack modes.
- Patient experience will matter: Ratings, both consumer and safety, are important as consolidation and local market strategies become increasingly important.
- Learn how to live with artificial intelligence: Though in vogue and buzzy, AI and machine learning could augment the workforce to perform at the top of their licenses.
- Are PBMs endangered?: Revisit contracts and prioritize models based on outcomes.
- Evidence is challenging pharma: Big Pharma should consider provider collaborations and focus on a shared goal.
- Tax reform: Continue to model as more information becomes available.
Surely, a new trend or issue will present itself as the industry rolls into 2018, but knowing what to watch out for and think about is a good start for planning purposes.