Continued from Health Care Trends
Collaboration and convergence of different health care industry sectors and players: Companies and organizations within the industry are discovering they alone cannot address large challenges such as cost containment, the opioid crisis, medical crises arising from natural disasters, etcetera. These challenges are best addressed by forming collaborative partnerships, alliances, and, sometimes, large mergers and acquisitions. Eliminating redundancies, improving return on capital, and providing efficient services for consumers are key objectives. For example, consider what industry dynamics will change because of the recent merger of CVS Pharmacy and the large health care insurer Aetna.
Continued shift from volume to value: The goal in health care continues to be value over the volume of care. New models are being used and tested to provide better clinical outcomes for patients. There are increasing incentives under these new models; providers take on more risk, and with more risk and better outcomes come potentially higher payments. Couple the trend of value-based payments with improved clinical outcome transparency to others (competitors), and you could have some real game changers. DoD, in partnership with TRICARE contractors, has a few value-based pilot projects, and MOAA intends to follow these closely.
Rise of the consumer in health care: The market for health care will continue to become more competitive, which gives rise to the need for organizations, providers, and health plans to improve the patient experience. Again, mergers such as CVS and Aetna will have a great chance at this by establishing a more retail convenience experience for customers. This aspect has grown in importance, as consumers have more access to and choice of health care than ever before. Making appointments and communicating with providers is becoming more commonplace through online and mobile platforms, including TRICARE Online and RelayHealth for military beneficiaries. All generations are using these mechanisms, and communication and education through these platforms is essential.
Organizations and health systems already are competing for patients and are learning patients are educated and knowledgeable. What patients value - and MOAA surveys confirm - is easy access, a pleasant experience, and quality health care at a price that reflects their service and sacrifice to the nation.