Value-Based Care Here to Stay

PwC’s annual report on top health industry issues predicts 2017 will be a year for partnerships, patient centricity, and value.

Marie Thibault

December 15, 2016

3 Min Read
Value-Based Care Here to Stay

PwC's annual report on top health industry issues predicts 2017 will be a year for partnerships, patient centricity, and value.

2017 can seem like a big question mark, but PwC believes at least one trend will stay the course--the shift toward value-based care.

In its annual report, "Top Health Industry Issues of 2017: A year of uncertainty and opportunity," PwC highlights 10 issues that range from the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to training medical students to practice in a value-based care environment. While there is a lack of clarity around exactly from the incoming Trump administration will mean for healthcare and the related government agencies, the report authors wrote, "[The shift to value] is a trend that may be magnified by the new administration, as it seeks to reshape the industry with more free market approaches."

Rep. Tom Price, President-elect Trump's nominee to head Health and Human Services (HHS), has opposed initiatives like the CMS Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, which instituted a mandatory bundled payment model for joint replacement procedures at hundreds of hospitals. But there will continue to be a focus on value and healthcare costs, said Stacey Empson, healthcare partner at PwC.

The new administration may bring in concentrate on measures like tax credits, health savings accounts (HSAs), block grants, and slowing the growth of Medicaid, Empson said. "Under a new administration, I think there is more focus on cost transparency, accountability, shifting that focus to the states from the feds, to the individual as opposed to the employer, in some cases."

The PwC report names 2017 as the year programs incentivizing value mature and become more widespread--"easing the training wheels off," as the report puts it. This continued shift to value-based care puts added emphasis on the power of the patient, too. Many of the issues described in the PwC report have an underlying theme of consumer/patient centricity.

"Don't overlook the consumer," Empson said. "I think one of the overarching themes in our report is the impact of us as individuals with tax credits, with HSAs, with more data and analytics, with more access to technology that we wear on our writs, with a focus on wellness . . . I think there is a continued and maybe even renewed focus on the individual. That individual being accountable for his or her health or the health of their families."

Companies are also taking new approaches to try to improve their service and offerings to patients. The PwC report highlights a partnership between Apple and Aetna that gave smartwatches to employees and some health plan members. Partnerships such as these "often make it possible to scale faster and stay nimble while reducing the potential downside risk of full ownership," the authors wrote.

The trend of partnerships isn't brand new, but Empson said that the industry will likely start seeing "more creative alliances and partnerships . . . what we'll start to see is maybe some new bedfellows."

Perhaps 2017 is still filled with unknowns for the healthcare industry, but it seems there may be plenty of familiar dynamics like patient power, value, and partnerships ahead too.

[Image courtesy of GERALT/PIXABAY]

About the Author(s)

Marie Thibault

Marie Thibault is the managing editor for Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry and Qmed. Reach her at [email protected] and on Twitter @MedTechMarie.

Sign up for the QMED & MD+DI Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like