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Booz & Company's 2010 Health Industry Perspective

Consultants at Booz & Company offer their 2010 Health Industry Perspective. According to the report, providers have the luxury of some time to change but need to get with it;
"A new era characterized by bundled payments and value for money is rapidly approaching; subsequent waves of healthcare reform will move providers aggressively in that direction. Already, the sector has been pursuing mostly appropriate strategies that will be in harmony with those goals. The biggest challenge for providers, though, may be envisioning the end game and defining their overarching strategies. A broader and more aggressive vision is needed.

"Although demand-side controls are off the table for this wave of reform, the fact remains that both the provision of healthcare services and lifestyle choices by consumers, not insurance, drive the vast majority of healthcare expenditures. Providers are well-positioned to improve both of these leading factors but have yet to commit to the sort of change that could accomplish it. (Providers) must advance an agenda of radically cutting cost, primarily through
prevention and by reducing variability in treatments and outcomes.

"The good news is (the) billions of dollars (supercharging) the nation’s development of EHRs and (promoting) seamless sharing of critical clinical information among providers, insurers, and patients. The reform package is also likely to further promote comparative effectiveness research programs to evaluate and recommend preferred prevention and treatment protocols for specific diseases. These two sets of tools are potentially powerful, but only if used as a means to an end. Ultimately, it’s the meaningful interchange of information among healthcare stakeholders, potentially through HIEs, that will make the difference. And while government funding may jump-start HIEs, no one has yet articulated a sustainable business model that would support their long-term survival and
stability..."
Providers are encouraged to develop what the report calls "strong form" products, emphasizing "best care" pathways, outstanding clinical talent and solid oversight of patient care and cost. This approach fits well with value-based bundled payments and begins to position the organization for the possible return of capitated payment methodologies.

What's old is new and what's new is, well, likely to have been tried before.


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