Fortune makes 10 healthcare predictions for 2016

Written by Tamara Rosin (Twitter | Google+)  | December 04, 2015

Numerous trends, proposals and deals will come to a head in 2016.

Fortune magazine has prepared 10 predictions for the healthcare industry next year.

1. The Federal Trade Commission will block a major hospital merger after considering data that consolidation leads to price hikes more than improved quality.

2. A new breed of wearables will include substitutes for expensive medical therapies. They will offer less invasive but highly effective treatments for diseases, as well as embrace a value-based business model, as opposed to wellness, entertainment and education, according to Fortune.

3. End-of-life care will gain more public attention and hospice use will double among accountable care organizations and capitated physicians. Increasingly expensive medications, high deductible plans and new payment models will encourage physicians to engage in more end-of-life discussions with patients. According to Fortune, this will eventually lead to increased pressure on drug pricing, higher Net Promoted Scores from patients and higher incomes for physicians.

4. A major hospital system will divest its employed physicians after realizing high financial losses and avoiding the transition to risk-based reimbursement. In turn, hospitals will begin closing their money-losing practices, like when the physician practice management roll-ups failed in the 1990s, according to the report.

5. The insurance innovation frenzy in 2015 will fizzle in 2016. Several provider-sponsored health plans and startups will find it difficult to achieve competitive premiums, which will lead to too few enrollees. Despite the compelling innovative software put forth by insurance startups, the health insurance market ultimately favors large-scale plans that can leverage their market power to achieve better provider discounts and use case managers to more effectively manage high-cost patients, according to the report.

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