2018 global health care sector outlook

Perspectives

2019 US and Global Health Care Industry Outlook

Shaping the future of health care trends

As health care industry leaders look to shape the future of care and establish a sustainable smart health community, how can they better collaborate with stakeholders—both within the health care ecosystem and those in converging industries?

A US perspective on health care trends

As the US health care industry moves toward a financial model that is based on value rather than volume, keeping people healthy and out of the hospital will be key. In a fee-for-service (FSS) model, health systems generate more revenue when patient volume increases. But under a value-based model, a person who shows up at an emergency room or a doctor’s office becomes an expense rather than a source of revenue. Rather than seeing people as patients, health systems should treat them more like members. This shift can help strengthen customer loyalty, build brand and reputation, and even improve the health of our nation.

As the industry continues to move toward this value-based system, here are a few trends US health care organizations should watch in 2019:

  • Collaboration between health systems and health plans
  • The shift to wellness rather than illness
  • How technology can help put patients at the center
  • Increased adoption of virtual care options
  • Greater focus on population health

Hear more about these trends from Deloitte’s US Health Care Leader, Steve Burrill.

Shaping tomorrow’s health care industry

The global health care industry doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in 2019. Aging and growing populations, greater prevalence of chronic diseases, and exponential advances in innovative, but costly, digital technologies continue to increase health care demand and expenditures.

Health care stakeholders struggling to manage clinical, operational, and financial challenges envision an industry in which new business and care delivery models, aided by digital technologies, may help to solve today’s problems and to build a sustainable foundation for affordable, accessible, high-quality health care. This vision may have greater probability of becoming a reality if all stakeholders actively participate in shaping the future—by shifting focus away from a system of sick care to one of health care that supports well-being, prevention, and early intervention.

Our 2019 outlook reviews the current state of the global health care industry and explores key trends and issues impacting care providers, governments, payers, patients, and other stakeholders. How can these industry players play a more active role in shaping the future of health? Download the full report to learn more.

Overview

The adage, “What goes up, must come down,” isn’t likely to apply to the global health care sector in 2019. Aging and growing populations, greater prevalence of chronic diseases, exponential advances in innovative, but costly, digital technologies—these and other developments continue to increase health care demand and expenditures. Health care stakeholders—providers, governments, payers, consumers, and other companies/organizations—struggling to manage clinical, operational, and financial challenges envision a future in which new business and care delivery models, aided by digital technologies, may help to solve today’s problems and to build a sustainable foundation for affordable, accessible, high-quality health care. This vision may have a greater probability of becoming a reality if all stakeholders actively participate in shaping the future— by way of shifting focus away from a system of sick care in which we treat patients after they fall ill, to one of health care which supports well-being, prevention, and early intervention.

This 2019 outlook reviews the current state of the global health care sector and explores trends and issues impacting health care providers, governments, payers, patients, and other stakeholders. It also outlines suggestions for them as they seek to redefine the health care ecosystem and looks at examples from the market.

The future of health: Six trends for 2019

Creating financial sustainability in an uncertain health economy

The emergence of personalized medicine, increased use of exponential technologies, entry of disruptive and non-traditional competitors, the demand for expanded care delivery sites, and revamped payment and public funding models are all impacting the financial performance of the health care ecosystem. Between 2017-2022, global health care spending is expected to rise 5.4 percent annually to just over $10 trillion.

Health care providers are stressing rigorous financial management, efficient operational performance, outcomes-based care, and innovative solutions to help address this rise in spending. Developing public-private partnerships, investing in prevention and well-being, and learning from industries outside of health care will also be key.

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Key takeaway

Health care providers are stressing rigorous financial management, efficient operational performance, outcomes-based care, and innovative solutions development. These could result in improved care provision, reduced costs, counter declining margins, and aligned cost structure and care models with reimbursement trends and payment models. Developing public-private partnerships, investing in prevention and well-being, and learning from industries outside of health care will also be key.

Using new care delivery models to improve access and affordability

Moving from volume to value will require building an outcomes-based financial model and data infrastructure to maximize value-based care (VBC) reimbursement pathways, which will likely be fundamental to many health systems’ sustainable growth.

Clinical innovations, patient preferences, and government program payment policies are prompting hospitals to shift certain services to alternative points of care and even to virtual environments that benefit from a cost and access perspective. It will be imperative for stakeholders across the health care ecosystem to collaborate around a whole-life approach to funding and delivering sustainable care.

Creating a positive margin in an uncertain and changing health economy
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Key takeaway

It is imperative for stakeholders across the health care ecosystem to collaborate around a whole-life approach to funding and delivering sustainable health care. Collaboration should be key. Investments in technology such as virtual health and telehealth could expand services while also helping hospitals bend the cost curve. AI powered nurses interacting with patients and intelligent virtual assistants providing personalized health care coaching are innovations that are already gaining traction.

Adapting to changing consumer needs, demands, and expectations

Patients and caregivers, dissatisfied with poor service and lack of transparency around price, quality, and safety, are expecting health care solutions that are coordinated, convenient, customized, and accessible.

To help keep up with increasingly engaged consumers, providers and payers will have to shift accordingly and take advantage of emerging opportunities to establish more direct, personal relationships. Organizations that understand and act on how consumers would like to use digital health, telehealth, wearable devices, and other technologies will likely be well-positioned to develop patient engagement strategies to help individuals make more informed health care decisions.

Strategically moving from volume to value
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Key takeaway

As patients’ role and influence in their health care increase, providers and payers must likely shift accordingly and take advantage of emerging opportunities to establish more direct, personal relationships with the consumer. Digital technologies can improve engagement, enable convenience-driven access to care, and nurture a two-way relationship for the long term. Organizations that understand and act on how consumers would like to use digital health, telehealth, wearable monitoring and fitness devices, online resources, social media, and other technologies will likely be well-positioned to develop patient engagement strategies that help individuals make informed health care decisions.

Investing in digital innovation and transformation

Digital technologies are supporting health systems’ efforts to transition to new models of patient-centered care and helping them develop “smart health” approaches to increase access and affordability, improve quality, and lower costs.

Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are just some of the technologies disrupting health care. These technologies are helping with diagnosis and treatment; helping with speed, quality, and accuracy; and improving the patient experience.

Responding to health policy and complex regulations
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Key takeaway

Investment in digitization can lead to better usage of health data in research supporting personalized health care. Interoperability issues and risks around connected devices, disparate systems and processes, and pilot models that need scale to facilitate system-wide adoption are some of the challenges on this road to innovation. Digital innovation is supporting and augmenting workers but not replacing them though. It is allowing highly trained resources to focus on more valuable, patient-facing activities. 

 

Maintaining regulatory compliance and cyber security

As data becomes the new health care currency, protecting it will be key. Clinical innovations, connected medical devices, and market complexity have amplified the continued need for evolving government policies, regulatory oversight, and risk management.

And while government policies and regulations seek to strengthen health care security and safety at a micro level, health care organizations should focus on compliance, ethics, and risk, driving awareness throughout the enterprise.

Investing in exponential technologies to reduce costs, increase access, and improve care
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Key takeaway

While government policies and regulations seek to strengthen health care security and safety at a macro level, health care organizations should focus on compliance, ethics, and risk, and drive awareness throughout the enterprise. Organizations need to invest in crisis management capabilities that make their cyber-diligence stronger and better.

Recruiting, developing and retaining top talent

An aging workforce, rising demand for health care services, and moral and well-being concerns are driving shortages of skilled health care staff. But there are a number of dimensions shaping the future of work, including automation, telehealth, and new staffing models.

Health care providers should proactively seek opportunities for augmentation in clinical workflows, which will allow clinicians and patients to benefit from an aligned financial reimbursement system, new technologies, innovative talent models, and extended locations for care delivery.

Engaging with consumers and improving the patient experience
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Key takeaway

Health care leaders need to maintain the talent continuum that offers resources for redefined roles of the health care practitioners. Providers should proactively seek opportunities for augmentation and automation in clinical workflows, which will allow clinicians and patients to benefit from an aligned financial reimbursement system, new technologies, innovative talent models, and extended locations where care is delivered. 

 

Read our 2018 Life Sciences Outlook to learn more about the trends and issues impacting the life sciences sector.

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