More than 4,000 healthcare industry leaders gathered in Chicago over four days in April for the Becker’s Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting.
The event was buzzing with excitement about the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton keynote speeches. Bernard Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, also brought industry insights to the table in his keynote speech about Kaiser’s current position within the industry and his views on the future of healthcare.
ECG was excited to be a sponsor of the event and to speak on a variety of topics, including strategic enterprise transformation for health systems, competitive drivers for health systems of the future, and new models for physician compensation.
Four themes emerged from the keynotes, panel discussions, presentations, and conversations.
1. Ambulatory programs, services, and capabilities continue to grow.
Increases in demand and cost are leading to an unsustainable inpatient hospital delivery system, resulting in continued movement from inpatient to ambulatory programs, services, and capabilities. Population growth and aging indicate that healthcare demand in the United States will continue to grow for years to come. The aging population leads to a more government-rich payer mix, and providers should expect revenue and profit margins per patient to decrease. As a result of these population changes and the need for lower-cost solutions, there has been significant growth in ambulatory services.Learn more about the growth of ambulatory services in health systems in ECG’s white paper on the topic.
2. Consumerism is key.
Patients are faced with a greater share of financial responsibility for their healthcare spending. As a result, they are approaching their healthcare purchases like consumers, demanding better access, price transparency, convenience, and clinical results. Providers that are responsive to this trend and deliver an excellent retail experience are poised for success.
Harvard Business Review outlines “What Retail Can Teach Health Care About Digital Strategy“ in a recent blog post.
3. Revenue growth is no longer expected only from rate increases.
Many organizations have relied solely on managed care contracting as a source of revenue and bottom line increases for many years. While opportunities for payer contract optimization still exist, it’s important to link payer strategy with the organization’s overall strategic plan and to increase focus on value delivery, cost containment, operational efficiencies, consumer and physician engagement, and improved care outcomes.
4. The healthcare industry is primed for transformation and disruption.
The aforementioned trends as well as a substantial increase in healthcare technology investment over the past 10 years are leading large organizations with billions in private equity, such as Amazon, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway, to take healthcare change into their own hands. In the current environment, both new and established players in the market have an opportunity to enhance care through improved outcomes, cost reduction, and a better patient experience.