Here are 10 key trends from Deloitte's "2016 Health Care Providers Industry Outlook" based on an interview with Mitchell Morris, MD, the vice chairman and US/Global Health Care Providers leader at Deloitte Consulting.
1. Healthcare spending is upwards of 18 percent of the gross domestic product. Analyses show the United States consistently underperforms compared with other countries on most performance dimensions, including efficiency, access, equity and outcomes.
2. There is an estimated 34 million people in the United States who continue to live without health insurance and access to care outside of emergency departments. But the ACA eased the situation by driving market changes to encourage new ways of delivering and reimbursing care.
3. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and Cadillac Tax could impact the healthcare ecosystem going forward. MACRA sets updates under the Medicare physician fee schedule, beginning at 0.5 percent from 2015 to 2018, then payment rates will flatten through 2025.
4. Congress delayed the Cadillac Tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored health coverage to Jan. 1, 2019, but employers and health plans continue to consider the impact on offerings; as a result there will be more high deductible plans and private exchange growth with a direct impact on providers.
5. MACRA and the Cadillac Tax are also expected to accelerate consolidation among providers as well as value-based payment system adoption. Value-based payments include accountable care organizations and bundled payments.
6. There is a move toward preventing emergency room visits and hospital stays to reduce costs and improve care quality. More providers are moving away from hospitals into more accessible and less costly settings, according to the report.
7. Technology adoption plays a key role in the future, with mobile phone use, web conferencing and patient portals taking off. Digital technology is shaping the healthcare landscape to empower consumers and connect with providers.
8. Fee-for-service continues to exist and current risk-bearing models usually provide one party more leverage over another. Providers are embracing new partnerships and competitive strategies to align with health plans.
9. Value-based care could go from voluntary to mandatory in the near future, requiring providers to report quality measures and build a foundation for a pay-for-value system.
10. Mergers and acquisitions are expected to grow in the coming year, as providers are looking to achieve scale, manage costs and build value-based capabilities in the face of narrow networks and other market factors.