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My Prognosis for Health Care in 2014

by Ed Park, COO

“The only constant is change.”

Sure, it’s an old cliché that’s been around for about 2500 years, but it’s true. And the sentiment has never been more relevant for the health care industry than right now.

Upcoming initiatives like ICD-10 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use demand a lot from medical practices, and have driven us at athenahealth to fill 2013 with plenty of planning, education and focus on behalf of our clients. But the view even further ahead portends massive change, and has led to some hard-working speculation about what’s to come.

Beyond mandates and programs that affect everyday operations throughout health care, there are conditions in play that are changing long-time processes and expectations about how and where care is delivered, and how caregivers are compensated for delivering that care. As the Chief Operating Officer at athenahealth, it’s my responsibility to see where the industry is going, ease the enormous pressures on our clients, and determine what we must do to uphold our vision of helping make health care work as it should.

What are the major factors for us to consider in determining and understanding what’s ahead?

  • A huge increase in health care spending as the population gets older, with total spending on the way to becoming 20% of the U.S. GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
  • The $575 billion incentive known as health care reform.
  • A scramble for patient volume, marked by hospitals acquiring hospitals and physicians acquiring physicians.

Dr. Jason Hwang, acclaimed co-author of The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Healthcare, said:

“It’s not that health care is doing a poor job, it’s improving, but it just doesn’t change the way we want it to.

For that change to happen, what disruptive innovation theory tells us, is that it’s almost always a new entrant, or, in this case, many new entrants to the industry that figure out a better way of doing things.”

This Wednesday, November 20th at 12:15 p.m. ET, I’m hosting a webinar to discuss these new entrants, my health care “prognosis” for 2014, and how “a better way of doing things” can affect our shared health care future.

Hope you can all make it!

Register today for this exciting webinar event with Ed Park and learn what your practice or organization can expect from health care changes.

Ed Park is the Chief Operating Officer at athenahealth. 

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