Where is health care going? What might families in the maelstrom need to know about the megatrends in broader health care, and by inference in mental health? The online journal MedCity News has an interesting report from Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions, with a video link:
Deloitte Center for Health Solutions has created an interesting six-minute video in which Paul Keckley, the Center’s executive director, describes the seven mega-trends that will influence the healthcare industry in 2013. All seven reinforce an undeniable reality — that business as usual won’t do — and present a “new normal.” It goes without saying that simply recognizing the mega-trends won’t do. Accepting them and changing is key. In other words, the dictum — using another well-worn cliche – is “change or die.”
Here are the mega-trends as defined by Keckley:
- Demanding demographics: The U.S. population is changing — it’s more diverse and older than it used to be. There are also large income disparities within that population. The ability to access insurance and the desire to have more healthful lifestyles are creating the a unique set of demographics that is engaging with their healthcare and demanding more from the healthcare industry than previously.
- Strategic globalization: U.S. companies involved in healthcare are looking to expand overseas. Not only is there inherent demand from the local population but medical tourism is on the rise: 25 percent of consumers report that they are willing to travel for a medical procedure. It’s important to look beyond U.S. borders for growth given projections like the U.S. share of global drug sales will drop 31 percent by 2015. And it’s not just pharma or device companies that need to look for growth in foreign soil, but insurance companies, providers, information technology companies as well.
- Unconstrained connectivity: Smartphones and mobile devices have heralded an era of unconstrained connectivity, and consumers now can access personal health records and electronic medical records online. But users want “control over their technologies that deliver information they want and need.” The healthcare industry will be forever changed by this “unconstrained connectivity” through the leveraging of technology.
- Constrained resources: Alongside unconstrained connectivity stands the challenge of constrained resources in healthcare. Like other industries, healthcare industry suffers from a shortage in talent and faces difficulty in accessing capital. But sometimes the bill for healthcare services gets passed on to others, so sometimes the constraint is not immediately felt.
- Accelerated consolidation: Functioning under constrained resources requires the need for a bigger platform especially to achieve sustainability and scalability are important. In healthcare, a fragmented system — with more than 400 insurance operators, 5,800 hospitals, long-term care and home care industries — will see a heightened focus on consolidation.
- Big data: Massive amounts of data is being generated but in healthcare what has changed is the availability of tools to translate that data into relevant information. What is also new in healthcare is how much demand there is from consumers to access that data. Big data is what will separate winners from losers in healthcare.
- Consumer discontent: Six out of 10 consumers are satisfied with the cost they pay for healthcare. More people view healthcare and its underperformance as a result of its waste and inefficiency. And as we move forward, people will talk less of patients and clinical trial subjects and more of consumers.