Without a doubt, healthcare is in another period of profound revolution. But then again, when hasn’t it been? There are always so many emerging trends in healthcare that with every new year, there’s another hot buzz word. If it’s any indication, venture capitalists are focusing much of their investment attention on the market sector that increasingly consumes a bigger portion of the US economic engine: healthcare. Where should they, and large delivery systems, be focusing their attention?
Awareness of market trends is important for every healthcare organization. In our recent white paper, “Healthcare Trends 2014: Pressure Rises and Delivery Organizations Respond,” Impact Advisors outlines seven key market trends affecting healthcare today and that we predict will continue to do so into the future. We provide supporting evidence for each, and more importantly, the related IT implications. With the large number of enterprise EHRs implemented over the past several years, IT has become the essential cornerstone to an organization’s future success. Information silos are being eliminated so that all care settings can share data and clinical teams can work more effectively together to improve population health.
As an example, our first trend, Market Pressures Drive Mergers & Acquisitions, is the result of Affordable Care Act requirements coupled with payer pressure for improved care delivery with fewer resources. Larger, integrated delivery systems will dominate many markets, especially those in urban areas. Just in the past six weeks alone, two sizeable mergers were proposed or finalized in the state of Illinois – Cadence Health and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, and NorthShore University HealthSystem and Advocate Health – the latter creating the largest not-for-profit health system in Illinois and 11th largest in the U.S. As a result, mergers will drive system conversions to whichever merging party has the most advanced, economical, and stable EHR in place.