Healthcare costs will grow in 2018 according to new report July 10, 2017
The state of healthcare is in flux, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is potentially being replaced and reimbursement is moving away from fee-for-service to value-based payments. Even the cost of healthcare delivery has been fluctuating for the past several years and is predicted to once again be on the increase for 2018.
PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) has released its annual report on the cost of healthcare that also identifies factors impacting the increase. The report includes three key points:
- HRI projects 2018’s medical cost trend to be 6.5%—the first uptick in growth in three years.
- Price continues to be a major driver of healthcare costs.
- Businesses will have to tackle the price of services as well as the rate of utilization to reduce medical cost trend in the future.
According to the report, healthcare costs were at 11.9% in 2007 and steadily decreased from there, reaching 6.5% in 2014. In the years since, however, the percentage has risen and fallen several times and is expected to rise again in 2018.
The report indicates that “structural changes such as the push toward paying for value, greater emphasis on care management and increased cost sharing with consumers are taking a stronger hold, pulling back against rapid healthcare spending growth.” Independent physicians, in particular, will need to find a way to streamline their practice management, to provide more value to their patients at a lower cost.
Optimizing patient care will become an integral piece in healthcare delivery going forward. Patients will look toward their providers to utilize technology such as electronic health records (EHR) to reduce their overhead costs and become more efficient with their coordinated care, particularly for those with chronic conditions.
As the costs of healthcare continue to rise, independent physicians will need to be more focused on providing quality care management to manage costs more effectively for their practices and their patients.