Glastonbury, CT – The S/L/A/M Collaborative recently hosted a presentation by Ethan Brosowsky, director and national spokesman for The Advisory Board Company (TABC), titled “Health Care 2020: Population Health, Consumerism, and the Future of Health Care Delivery.”
This presentation, the most recent iteration of the Health Care Advisory Board’s “State of the Union,” discussed a variety of topics regarding shifting responsibilities of providers, insurers, and employers.
Key trends in the healthcare purchaser market were examined, including how these trends will affect the provider industry moving forward.
Major findings included the government’s shift of risk to healthcare providers and employers, and the trickle-down effect it is having on employees and patients. As insurers are reconsidering their participation in the exchanges, an increasing number of employers are weighing whether or not to continue offering employee health benefits. Some companies have already made the choice to pay the government penalty and push the responsibility to employees, while others are utilizing the increasing number of third-party consultants to bundle the best deals.
Overall, employees and patients are becoming savvy healthcare customers, and as such, are shopping for the best deals on their own. Although some patients remain loyal to their trusted long-time healthcare providers, in other instances a variance of a five-dollar co-pay can be all it takes for a patient to switch to another healthcare provider, marking an alarming but true sign of the times.
In addition, post-acute care remains a focus in the healthcare industry. In order to participate in population health, providers cannot maintain an outdated acute care model, but rather, must invest in a CMS-approved philosophy of reducing re-admission and moving patients through healthcare processes quicker and more efficiently. Healthcare systems have been forced to shift to an ambulatory care model with lower reimbursement rates, focusing on more specialized program offerings while dropping others that don’t drive large volumes. With acute care still driving higher fees, and with less lucrative ambulatory care facilities being pushed as the future of care, an emerging trend of “micro-hospitals” is occurring nationally. These facilities, while serving as ambulatory care facilities, feature a small number of beds in order to classify as an inpatient hospital campus facility, commanding higher reimbursement rates while still adapting to the CMS-approved philosophy.