Key trends for 2014 have been identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as well as Premier, which is a healthcare improvement alliance of 2,800 hospitals and health systems and more than 93,000 non-acute care sites. Both firms analyzed data during late 2013 and have recently announced their findings.

“Top 10” List from PwC:
1. Companies are rethinking their roles in the new health economy
2. Corporate funds are invading the healthcare venture capital space
3. Employers are exploring the use of private exchanges
4. Healthcare industry accelerates the pace of price transparency
5. Social, mobile, analytics and cloud are converging
6. Technology is the new workforce multiplier
7. Advances in scientific tools are transforming clinical trials
8. To truly innovate, be ready to fail fast, frequently and frugally
9. States are pursuing Medicaid managed long-term care
10. New rules are combating the counterfeit drugs

Premier’s “Big 8” List:

1. Chronic Care—more healthcare providers will get involved in ambulatory care to improve management of chronic conditions.

2. Health Coaches—the key to managing chronic conditions is having health coaches who know patients on a one-on-one basis.

3. Home-Based Care—technology improvements are increasing opportunities for patients to receive medical treatments outside of the hospital.

4. Employer Health Incentives—employers are increasingly motivating employees to remain healthy through the use of free online tools and financial incentives.

5. Private Health Insurance Exchanges—employers are increasingly using these exchanges, which allow people to have more options and customize their insurance coverage.

6. CMS Policy Changes—more healthcare policy changes from CMS will address the growth rate in Medicare and Medicaid.

7. Open-Source Software for Big Data—to help drive innovation, healthcare providers will push for “big data” applications that allow more customization by independent, third-party software vendors.

8. Expanding Healthcare Partnerships—these partnerships will increasingly expand to include social service agencies and other non-healthcare service providers such as community-based groups and even fitness centers.

Also noteworthy is news out of CMS… The number of Americans age 85 and older is accelerating and will increase by 300% to 18 million by 2050. As a result, according to an analysis conducted by Truven Health Analytics for CMS, the expansion of long-term care support programs offered by Medicaid is accelerating. The number of states with these programs grew on average by one per year between 2004 and 2012 (from 8 to 16), but the pace is now five per year (growing from 16 states to 26 states in the last two years alone.

Author: Jim WiederholdJim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.