Healthcare 2014: Year of Efficiencies

Tom Caswell
Director of Sales & Marketing
Synernet, Inc.

In my professional career I have been in and out of healthcare over the past 20+ years but something always draws me back – change.  Healthcare brings an uncompromised drive to innovate that speaks to my belief that “change is good”.

On a clinical side the United States is a recognized innovation leader with an ability to continually improve outcomes and save lives. Unfortunately, as Bloomberg reports the United States is certainly not among the most efficient countries for healthcare.  Clearly the US healthcare system of government and private sponsored health plans coupled with state and federal initiatives has created a health care system that is fragmented and inefficient.

The refrain of a broken United States healthcare system is harsh as the broken aspect of the system points squarely at costs and efficiencies in providing care – not the care itself.  What makes healthcare efficiency so challenging in the United States? The lack of direction and setting of a clear national policy by the public sector is certainly a contributing factor.  On the flip side the United States healthcare sector enjoyed a prolonged expansion that allowed inefficiencies to continue as revenues expanded. As business cycles go, the “healthcare boom” gave way to a retraction in 2011 that is forcing efficiencies into the system – a natural market adjustment.

As healthcare utilization in the profitable private sector continues to soften, hospitals and health care organizations will face difficult decisions that other industries face in their normal business cycle.  Healthcare will now be tasked with improving efficiencies through scale, innovation and consolidation.  Just as the auto, tech and real estate industries deal with cycles of expansion and contraction, healthcare organizations will be forced to innovate, consolidate and merge to survive.

  • Healthcare Growth National Health Expenditures
  • Amount US spends on healthcare nearly doubled from 2000 to 2011
  • US ranks highest in healthcare percent of GDP (18%)

Healthcare stakeholders have to do more with less and the auto and tech industries illustrate that streamlining processes will save costs and foster growth. In the end outcomes will continue to improve and organizations that innovate and improve efficiencies will thrive in the new consumer healthcare landscape.

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