Top health industry issues of 2018

A year of resilience amid uncertainty

In year two of the Trump administration, healthcare leaders will be adjusting their strategies to focus on investments, collaborations and efficiencies that build enterprise resilience on a baseline of continued uncertainty. Healthcare players, including the White House, Congress, state lawmakers, industry groups and patient advocates, will continue to parry, feint and thrust, which will likely result in additional policy changes. Healthcare providers and insurers in particular should anticipate the changes as they come. Beyond health reform, additional risks and uncertainties are moving to center stage, as is the consumer, and the health industry is being forced to act.

The health industry tackles the opioid crisis

Opioids are the leading cause of death for US adults younger than 50, with roughly 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, up from 52,000 in 2015. Nearly half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. Despite the ongoing drumbeat of concern— from policymakers, healthcare organizations and consumer advocates—the crisis has proven complex, with no quick fixes.

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Securing the internet of things

Internet-connected medical devices are holding the health system together—playing critical roles in such tasks as patient care, medical records and billing—but each connected device is a potential door for cybercriminals.

Patient experience as a priority and not just a portal

Healthcare providers have succeeded in making administrative tasks easier and more convenient for patients. Patients can pay bills online, and they get appointment reminders by email or text. But 2018 will be about redesigning patient experience so it changes behavior and improves outcomes—a critical goal as the industry turns toward paying more for value, not volume. Some healthcare organizations also will begin to use patient experience to differentiate markets.

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Kelly Barnes
US Health Industries and Global Health Industries Consulting Leader
Tel: +1 (214) 754 5172
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Benjamin Isgur
Health Research Institute Leader
Tel: +1 (214) 754 5091
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Gurpreet Singh
US Health Services Advisory Leader
Tel: +1 (312) 298 2160
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Karen C. Young
US Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Leader
Tel: +1 (973) 236 5648
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