A new report from Falls Church, Va.-based CSC examines the current changes underway in the healthcare system and formulates predictions about what will happen by 2015. The research focus on the following areas:
- Healthcare Cost Inflation: Payment reforms will be introduced and tested, administrative simplification efforts to reduce hidden overhead costs will accelerate but prove minimally successful, and standardization of benefit packages and pricing requirements will create a floor against which all other market offerings can be measured and shift more burden to consumers.
- Coverage Expansion: Reform efforts will expand public assistance programs to support coverage and will establish standards for benefits and pricing. Expanding coverage will worsen current cost and capacity issues and prompt some providers and consumers to exit the mainstream system.
- Capacity Constraints: Supply constraints will persist, declining ratio of primary care physicians will continue and consumers will experience more care delays.
- Evolving Expectations: Federal reform initiatives will force the industry to address current weaknesses in coordination of care quality and efficacy across care boundaries, and consumers will be held accountable for the financial consequences of health and lifestyle behaviors.
- Information Technology: Providers will divide into two EHR adoption camps: Those that acquire and implement/upgrade EHR systems to qualify for HITECH incentives, and those that have less-aggressive implementation schedules, and greater number of hospitals and practices purchasing and installing EHR will create an increased demand for more IT technical and implementation support staff, new and faster methodologies for installing and implementing EHR, more HIEs and new information system solutions.
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