2013: the tipping point in health care
In the first few days of 2013, I've found myself, like everyone, thinking ahead to what this year holds. There are a few things on my wish list that seem to be there every year:
- I will lose weight, exercise daily, eat healthier, and be a nicer person.
- I will read at least one non-health care book monthly.
- I will find balance between work and family.
Yada, yada. Like perhaps many others, these resolutions linger in my mind a few weeks into the year until things get busy or pressure builds. Then I rationalize that it’s a matter of intent more than results.
In the health care industry, 2013 will be a huge year: the perfect storm of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the fiscal cliff and long-term deficit reduction, consumer dissatisfaction, and higher costs mean it’s a year when results matter.
- It’s the year we will see just how these state health insurance exchanges work…or won’t.
- It’s the year results from the demonstrations and pilots in the ACA like accountable care, bundled payments, and medical homes start coming in.
- It’s the year a second term president builds his legacy free of a re-election threat.
- It’s the year employers will take stock of their need to pay or play in their employee health benefits and, if they choose to play, complete their transition from defined benefit to high deductible contribution plans.
- It’s the year when the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) steps into the spotlight to begin a national discussion about necessary care and evidence-based medicine.
- It’s the year the performance of physicians—outcomes, safety, patient satisfaction, efficiency, conflicts of interest—will become readily accessible to employers and consumers.
- It’s the year when the pay and chase approach to reducing fraud in the system will be replaced by analytics and heightened pursuit.
- It’s the year when governors tackle the challenge of Medicaid expansion.
- It’s the year when the “Grand Bargain” about long-term deficit reduction and economic recovery collide with the economics and expectations about Medicaid and Medicare.
- And it’s the year when consumers will demand more value from their providers, health insurance plans, and elected officials.
2013 is a tipping point year in the bumpy road to health system transformation. There’s no going back. Results matter.
by Paul H. Keckley, PhD, Executive Director
Deloitte Center for Health Solutions