Market Predictions for Health Care: Minnesota, the U.S. and Global

  1. The number of health systems in the United States will be reduced by 50% over the next 10 years due to consolidation (mergers and acquisitions). Pressures on price, use of services and rising operating costs will cause smaller players to seek shelter in larger, better capitalized systems of care.
  2. Most physicians will work for health systems. Market dynamics, regulation and pressured economics will render private practice less attractive for all but a few clinical specialties who are able to exploit niche markets.
  3. Market disruptors can exploit profitable niche opportunities with innovations beyond the capabilities of large, less nimble health systems. Risk capital will flow freely to the best ideas, favoring such innovations as self-monitoring of health status and physiological function, wellness, high-value care methods and environments, (including the home) — and reductions of inefficiencies, redundancies and unnecessary procedures.
  4. Cost, quality, safety and value transparencies and increased out-of-pocket payments will drive consumerism. Consumerism will drive provider-side competition for patients. Patients will be armed with reliable data to make informed choices on quality, safety, cost and experience.
  5. The number of health insurers in the United States will be reduced through consolidation. The federal government will become the largest single payer. The U.S. government and a small handful of payers will control the majority of payments to health care providers.
  6. Virtual care will expand; acute and chronic conditions can be managed without patients and providers needing to be in the same place at the same time.
  7. The focus will be weighted to prevention of problems and keeping you as healthy as possible if you have a chronic condition. 
  8. Provider work force skills and competencies will shift. New skills will include information analytics, information technologies management, virtual care support systems and related apps. Clinicians will be trained as members of interprofessional teams — expanding beyond one nurse working with one doctor.
  9. Upwards of one third of all health care provided in the United States will be identified as unnecessary and, perhaps, potentially harmful. Top health systems will build their brands, in part, on delivery of evidence-based best practices. 
  10. Leading medical centers will build brand value based on designer therapeutics — such as customized approaches based upon patients’ genomic signatures. 
  11. Medical tourism will become more common-place; global travel for perceived best care/best value will increase. The big names in United States health care will promote and export their brands globally.
Daniel Zismer, Ph.D.2015