Top Ten 2019 Influencers for Change in Healthcare

January 5, 2019

There is an overhang of uncertainty that is sure to last well into the year 2019 promising great challenges for the healthcare industry—and with a new Congress, myriad changes in regulation will remain unabated. In fact, the consequence of months of discord, creates a perfect opportunity for a grand political bargain to combine a new healthcare bill with immigration reform.  Politics along with other trends in enterprise and technology will have a tremendous impact in health care.

Here are the top ten predictions:


  1. Health plans will continue to plan for the unknown requiring multiple strategies to deal with regulatory changes and increasing demands from members. Competition across state lines by health plans will become closer to reality causing well financed plans to fortify their areas of influence through roll-ups of less well-heeled plans.


  1. Many health systems will look to, in part, become health plans causing more friction between them and new combinations will emerge. Provider networks will continue to compete for physician talent and narrow networks will become strained and new models, some owned by health plans will further appear on the landscape as push/pull between plans and systems become more prevalent. New entrants will continue to enter the healthcare marketplace attempting to disrupt the industry.


  1. Health systems and health plans will invest in areas that will increase efficiency, cost reduction and enhanced patient/member experiences but shortcomings will persist: The shortage in providers will increase costs for health systems with financial burden trickling down to patients and payers. But the dark cloud of inaccessibility to patient care & information will have a silver lining for digital health companies as Americans will look to mobile technology for answers to health questions, provider availability, alternate means of care and greater personal control of their health.


  1. Increased advertising by pharma companies will bring greater awareness to chronic disease, cancer and breakthroughs in new treatments in age related illnesses and diagnosis thereof. Cyberchondriacs will increase in number resulting from prevalence of pharma commercials causing undo stress and increased provider visits of perfectly healthy individuals influenced by pharma marketing.


  1. Innovation in healthcare will continue to be the name of the game but not all innovation will have positive outcomes. M&A will accelerate as disparate parts of the industry will seek ways to come together seeking new and greater value propositions


  1. Self-insured corporations will seek new ways to reduce costs by placing additional cost sharing on its employees while providing them the mobile tools to help them offset their increased share of the burden.


  1. Behavior science and behavioral modification will become more prevalent in mobile health and well-being offerings in order to improve engagement and continued use.


  1. The demand/need for easier navigating ones’ health, access and cost transparency of care and drugs will create new opportunities and combinations of companies in the healthcare space, while increasing the opportunity for new entrants to fill this void. Investments in implantable devices to monitor health will continue along with wearable delivering systems of care


  1. Geopolitical tensions and financial fears will create major increases in percentage of American’s diagnosed with anxiety and depression.


  1. Percentage of early born baby boomers will die in greater numbers resulting in next generation sons and daughters focusing more on their mortality and take part in healthier habits and lifestyles.