Opinion Based List:

The Camden Group’s Top 10 Trends in Healthcare for 2011

Submitted by Kevin Gemulla on Thu, 02/10/2011 - 14:27

  1. Insurance membership will take a hit from slow recovery. Many unemployed people will not take advantage of COBRA. Employees will choose high-deductible, low-premium PPO plans when faced with paying a larger share of their health plan premiums
  2. No easing on payment pressure. Health plan payments will not make up for declining or stagnant Medicaid and Medicare payments.
  3. Patients postpone care, hurting providers. High unemployment and increased out-of-pocket costs will lead to more patients postponing treatment. This will result in lower volume at hospitals and practices.
  4. Cost is king. Providers will look for ways to save money, but unions, staffing ratios, and regulations will make cuts difficult. Health plans will make changes to encourage the use of lower-cost providers.
  5. Capital remains elusive. Non-profit hospitals will find it difficult to access capital.
  6. Physicians make or break new care models. Hospitals and medical groups will focus on accountable care organizations, bundled payments, patient-centered medical homes, and clinical integration
  7. Construction focus is on fast returns. Construction projects will be scaled down, and providers will focus on projects, such as imaging centers, that result in significant returns.
  8. IT becomes more pervasive—or else. Moving to new care models will require investment in IT. Providers will focus on implementing electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry, and health information exchanges.
  9. Let’s make a deal. There will be an uptick in mergers and acquisitions as hospitals and physician groups realize that they do not have the resources they need to invest in IT, facilities, and equipment for new care models.
  10. Market share, market share, market share. Hospitals will look for new programs to fill empty or underperforming assets.

Notes: With offices in California, Illinois, and New York, The Camden Group is one of the nation’s leading healthcare business advisory firms. The firm provides a broad array of healthcare consulting services in areas ranging from strategic and business planning and financial advisory and compliance, to hospital operations improvement, hospital/physician alignment, clinical integration, and developing accountable care organizations. Since its founding in 1970, The Camden Group has advised more than 1,000 hospitals, medical groups, outpatient facilities, and other healthcare organizations nationwide. For more information, visit us online at www.TheCamdenGroup.com.

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  1. Stephen Lamke (not verified) on Wed, 02/23/2011 - 12:55

    This list is a nice summary of key trends. It is interesting to see how inter-related key trends are, such as #6 compacting #8, which helps drive #9.