Provider systems of the future: What happens when the hospital is no longer the center of the health universe?

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A new era is dawning for US hospitals. Facing death by a thousand cuts, hospitals won’t be able to survive by fine-tuning their business models. They are going to have to recast themselves altogether. Over the next 10 years, the nation’s health systems will rebuild themselves for the millions of Americans who come to them seeking care, wellness and sustainable, affordable paths to health in the burgeoning New Health Economy. An analysis by PwC’s Health Research Institute concluded that four provider system models are expected to dominate the future.

What happens when the hospital is no longer the center of the health universe?


of consumers are interested in having a menu of care options offered by multiple providers

American hospitals will likely adopt one of four models

Product leader

  • Delivering the most advanced care and best outcomes
  • Relying on telemedicine to allow US physicians to share expertise nationally and abroad and take care to the patient
  • Bringing differentiated service offerings to the market that address costly and complicated health conditions

Experience leader

  • Achieving the greatest consumer satisfaction
  • Delivering high quality care across traditional venues, non-traditional physical locations, and virtual space
  • Understanding the consumer markets they are serving will be critical

Health manager

  • Improving the health of entire populations over time
  • Finding ways to serve complex populations and address the social determinants affecting health
  • Contracting directly with the public sector and employers


  • Emphasizing value by having the greatest scale and scope
  • Creating value through their vast network and their intentional partnerships
  • Succeeding in a landscape where hospitals are not confined to the four walls of their buildings

Providers will pick their majors based on the model they choose

Meanwhile, all providers will have to achieve basic competency in foundational areas—such as reaching a competitive cost position, balancing risk-based and fee-for-service reimbursement, delivering quality holistic health, innovating with and getting value out of technology, and translating consumer insights into better experiences.

Contact us

Benjamin Isgur

Benjamin Isgur

Health Research Institute Leader, PwC US

Sarah Haflett

Sarah Haflett

Director and Research Leader, PwC Health Research Institute, PwC US

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

US Health Services Leader, PwC US

Vaughn Kauffman

Vaughn Kauffman

Principal, Health Industries, PwC US

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