By Clive Riddle, January 15, 2016
What’s in store for 2016? Henry Loubet, Chief Strategy Officer for Keenan, tells us “The business of health care has experienced both evolution and revolution through the decades. Innovation and transformation are driving dramatic developments in the health care industry at a rapid pace these days. While the major insurers' merger and acquisition activity will draw plenty of speculation about the health care landscape, I believe there are other, more immediate trends that will influence policy and financial decisions in 2016.”
Here’s three trends Henry points to for 2016:
The 2016 Election could potentially hold transformative Affordable Care Act impacts, with a new President and approximately 470 seats in the House and Senate to be decided. We don't know who will ultimately occupy those offices or whether the partisan balance will spell the possibility of the ACA being modified or repealed. Even with a strong Republican shift, there are significant barriers to repealing a law that now provides health insurance to millions of Americans. Some elements that would be easier for Congress to change about the ACA include risk corridors reimbursement, Cadillac Tax modification or deferral, or provisions affecting Medical Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Disruptive start ups will continue to alter how health care is delivered as more members of the Millennial generation become health care consumers and entrepreneurial purchasers. Companies like Oscar, Zenefits, and Omada Health all appeal to those who are most comfortable functioning in a connected environment. These organizations have realized growing valuations as they've acquired market share at unprecedented rates. Their approach to care access should make telemedicine more mainstream, promote adoption of wearable devices for wellness and condition management, and expand utilization of "minute clinics" and other alternative treatment venues.
Not frequently discussed, but a growing area for health care is the application of non-occupational medical, pharmacy, and wellness/condition management principles to workers' compensation. Inflationary increases in occupational medical have prompted steps toward implementing drug formularies, preferred provider networks, and wellness/population health management as risk management strategies to reduce paid claims as well as the incidence and severity of workers' compensation claims. Though maybe not in 2016, we will be monitoring whether the line between occupational and non-occupational medical becomes less distinct or eventually eliminated.
Henry’s comments originally appeared in in MCOL’s December-January 2016 issue of ThoughtLeaders