2014 will be a historic year for healthcare. Not only will it mark the watershed moment for Accountable Care Act (ACA) implementation as the individual mandate takes effect, but the rate of growth for healthcare costs will be at some of the lowest levels since the government began measuring national health expenditures in 1960.
Today’s revenue cycle was built to accommodate the fee-for-service environment. We treat patients as episodes of care-establishing accounts, providing care, and accounting for that care and its payment. We deal with third-party payers, are concerned about the patient experience, and are constantly looking for ways to automate through new systems. That world is changing, driven by increasing costs, the desire to be more outcomes-driven, and the need to manage care across the continuum of providers. We need to evolve from a culture of generating revenues to one that effectively manages expenses.
Today’s healthcare executives find themselves facing a rapidly changing industry that is bringing with it some formidable challenges.
Declining medical inflation will continue for the next several years as providers embrace new efficiencies as a way of cutting costs.