Thought Leaders: These Are "Turbulent," "Transitional" Times In Healthcare

by Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx
Contact

The phrase "the only constant is change itself" has rarely been so true across an entire industry. The U.S. healthcare sector is having to adjust to rapidly changing times. That whirlwind of change was discussed by industry leaders at Akerman's recent panel event titled "Healthcare Issues for 2014: What Can You Expect?"

Panelists included Karen Zeiler, Senior Vice President of the Florida Hospital Association; George S. Huang, Director and Senior Analyst for Wells Fargo Securities; and Edwin Miller, Vice President of Product Management for electronic medical practice solutions provider CareCloud. The panel highlighted many of the changes which are causing the industry to adapt. Those changes – almost all of which stem from federal healthcare reform – include:

  • Shift in payment models from fee-for-service to paying for value
  • Increased focus on health outcomes
  • Changes in care delivery models
  • Payment cuts to hospitals and Medicaid
  • Taxes on insurers and medical devices
  • Electronic medical records incentives and innovative uses
  • New ICD-10 billing codes
  • Changing utilization trends
  • Increased demand for price transparency

Below are some insights from our panelists regarding emerging themes within the healthcare industry.

Bullish Long-Term Outlook

The healthcare sector is in a turbulent, transitional period that has led to conservative behavior by investors. Industry leaders are also building up their balance sheets and shifting new capital expenditures to information technology ("IT") and less-expensive care settings such as outpatient surgery centers. Total healthcare bond issuance has decreased significantly since 2008, but there is optimism that industry outlook will be positive over the 7- to 10-year range, so long as health systems find innovative ways to improve the way care is delivered and integrated, optimize capacity and increase efficiency.

Hospitals Facing Cuts, Innovating Despite Lack of Medicaid Expansion in Florida

Reductions in reimbursement and increased medical device taxation under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") have increased pressure on hospitals to innovate. Adding to the burden is the high level of uncompensated care that hospitals are obligated to provide. In Florida alone, hospitals provided $3 billion in charity care last year. Expanding the Medicaid program could reduce the number of uninsured Floridians (estimated at four million), but hospital leaders do not expect expansion to pass the Florida House of Representatives this year. Meanwhile, hospitals are: (1) investing in new IT tools to better understand data, improve outcomes, and reduce costs; (2) eliminating waste in the supply chain by examining under-utilization and eliminating over-capacity; and (3) consolidating to increase market share, expanding further into the outpatient same-day acute market, and acquiring a large number of physician practices.

Emphasis on Interoperability and Meaningful Use

To achieve meaningful use and accountable care milestones, providers require a platform of interoperable IT resources that integrate, manage and analyze provider data. In response to this need, hospitals are shifting investments from the physical plant to the IT infrastructure. Cloud-based information systems are increasing in prevalence, with many providers moving toward integrated practice management solutions, incorporating clinical, financial and operational information into a single platform. Although the vision of seamless interoperability has not yet materialized, the industry is making great strides while adapting to new healthcare delivery models under the ACA.

Tomorrow is Here

The industry is changing and adapting to healthcare reform and advances in technology at a rapid pace. Providers and patients will experience glitches and bumps along the way as new care models are ironed out and new technology is introduced. Hopefully, presuming the bullish investors are correct, the industry will adapt to thrive, and patient outcomes will improve.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx
Contact
more
less

Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.