Category: Healthcare

Consolidation of healthcare

Market Intelligence Study on Antimalarial Drugs in Multiple Markets

Malaria, caused by Plasmodium, is responsible for more than a million deaths all over the world. As per WHO’s ten facts on malaria, nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. Consequently, there is a need to identify and develop antimalarial therapeutics. At Infiniti Research, our experts performed a market intelligence study to understand the demand-supply landscape of the antimalarial treatment market across tropical countries. Governments have also implemented various elimination strategies to reduce the number of patients suffering from the disease.

Below are top trends about antimalarial drugs in various markets.

  1. The global antimalarial drug market to decline between 2014-2018 across regions as the number of patients suffering from malaria is decreasing.

Antimalarial drugs are used for the prevention of malarial infections. These drugs target the erythrocytic stage of malaria infection. Due to several international bodies and federal governments taking preventive measures to control the disease, there has been a stark decline in the demand for antimalarial drugs. Also, early diagnosis and treatment add to the above reason. Our experienced market potential assessment team at Infiniti Research tracked recent developments and innovations in the market through a meticulous process of collecting and analyzing information from exhaustive primary and secondary research methodologies.

  1. Nigeria – The leading market for antimalarial drugs in 2014, followed by DRC and Indonesia.

Young children, pregnant women, and travelers from malaria-free areas are vulnerable to the disease. Access to diagnostic centers and treatment are the major concerns for the African population. Malaria was a major public health issue in Nigeria, the DRC, Uganda, and Ghana, which reported several cases and deaths related to the disease in 2013. Our analysts spoke to stakeholders responsible for the sales and distribution of antimalarial drugs to understand how the market would perform in the short and long term across various regions.

By evaluating a broad range of published literature to develop an initial hypothesis, Infiniti’s market potential assessment team approached numerous market stakeholders and conducted in-depth primary and secondary research to determine the prescription patterns, key treatment methods used, and the trends affecting the antimalarial drugs market.

Read our complete case study to learn more about how to strategize effective market entry strategies for antimalarial drugs in multiple markets.

rheumatology

Global Challenges and Trends in Rheumatology

Rheumatology is a field of medicine which focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various musculoskeletal diseases. With the growing geriatric population, instances of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are on the rise. This spurs the need for more rheumatology centers and an increase in the global practice of rheumatology. People with RMDs experience severe joint pain, chronic pain and increasing disability. The increase in the number of rheumatology centers can be attributed to the preference for early diagnosis and treatment of RMDs. At Infiniti Research, our team of experts engaged in a market opportunity assessment to identify and profile the top rheumatology centers across North America and Europe. We have listed top challenges that are stressing out the rheumatology field.

  1. Surpassing Insurance and Reimbursement Problems – Our market intelligence study shows that there are huge limitations in insurance coverage and their financial impact among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Arthritis as a preexisting condition proved to limit the ability to earn a living. Not just that, many patients have been denied insurance for the same reason and had a considerable financial impact.

  1. Challenges Within Rheumatology Centers – A well-equipped rheumatology center offers people-centric care. Availability of such centers, affordability of the care offered and clinical services are few of the many arising challenges in this field. Any disparity created only prevents the early diagnosis of RMDs and delays the whole process. To help the client identify some of the critical issues faced by investors in this market space, our experts created a master list of rheumatology centers that would serve as a market map for each country and act as a decision support tool to determine the marketability of their medical devices and services in each country.

  1. Successful Early RA Diagnosis –Untreated RA has a greater chance of permanent joint disability. Early diagnosis and treatment for RA make all the difference. Rheumatologists today set specific goals and milestones to treat RA. Although experts realize the importance of early diagnosis, it’s also important to gather the right information during their first visit. Beyond treatment, there are great lifestyle changes that are suggested by rheumatologists. A balance of exercise and diet is the best thing to do if one’s diagnosed with early stage RA.

At Infiniti Research, our industry experts – who have extensive experience in healthcare, medical devices, and pharmaceutical verticals across the globe, follow a two-step research methodology to help you make the right investment decisions to ameliorate ROIs. Our approach involves an analysis of the major rheumatology centers for each country under focus and an assessment of the major profiles for rheumatology centers.

To learn more about the trends and market challenges, read our complete case study here.

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Health Economics for Medical Device Developers

The medical device industry is driven by optimistic device companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia that seek innovation. With new innovations, the key stakeholders in the medical device market will keep funding research and new ideologies to bring about product differentiation. From the demand for self-medication to in-home healthcare services, the medical device industry is witnessing a change in preferences. Currently, the industry is going through a huge strategic change with respect to the development and launch of new products. And our health economists are here to help decode the trends for all the medical device developers.

Health economics plays a vital role in demonstrating the value of new products launched by medical device manufacturers. In general, there are two main areas to focus – Medical Device Reimbursement and Market Access. Involving health economics early in the process will help businesses assess product development opportunities. At Infiniti Research, our experts will leave you with compelling reasons to choose health economics for the medical device industry.

Let Data Do the Talking

Create a comprehensive reimbursement plan for medical devices with the help of health economics analysis from a payers’ perspective. A detailed health economics analysis will give you insights on providing quality care for more people by reducing costs. This will help decision makers to conclude how effective the proposed medical device is over the existing ones and its value for money. This will also prevent the development of technologies and devices that have doubtful value in the future.

Make Well-informed Decisions

Expenditure in the medical device industry is substantially growing. There is an extensive government intervention when it comes to norms and regulations to promote the efficient use of medical devices. This is where an economic evaluation of medical devices will keep every medical device manufacturer informed about the pricing and reimbursement plans. Not just that, it will demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of new and emerging medical devices to make sound decisions.

Rethink Reimbursement

Cost-effectiveness of medical devices plays a huge role when it comes to reimbursement. If there exists therapy A and a new therapy B and they both seem to have similar clinical outcomes, preference will be given to the therapy that is more cost efficient. However, this choice of treatment can be debated if therapy B is much more effective than A. As a medical device manufacturer, you can save time and money when you rethink reimbursement.

As a medical device manufacturer, it is a wise choice to analyze the health economics for the newly developed medical device. Right from assessing the commercial viability of the device to avoiding frugal innovations, the device will have its reimbursement strategies explored. Other than that, a developer can make a better, informed product design ruling out unpromising technologies.

Whether you’re a strategy expert or a decision maker, here is our case study.

Medical Reimbursement, Health Economics, and Market Access Mapping for Wound Care Dressings.
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COPD – Major Health Problem in Europe, Strike it Out With NIV!

COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is expected to increase from almost 270,000 in 2005 to 338,000 deaths by 2030. Often COPD is under diagnosed, inferring that the prevalence rates are only going to increase. Recently, Infiniti Research performed a market assessment on COPD and Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) treatment for the European market, and here are some insights from our market assessment for medical device manufacturers specializing in NIV to help them develop effective market entry strategies.

NIV to Witness Robust Growth

A recent market assessment study shows that COPD is the major cause of death, whose prevalence is on the rise and is envisaged to be the third leading cause of death globally by 2030. Furthermore, patients getting affected are on the aging side; as a result of which, physicians prefer non-invasive techniques over the invasive ones. The recent rise in chronic respiratory diseases has increased the demand for the right medical device supplies. Since the market witnesses a surge in the popularity of ventilators our industry experts feel that this would be the right time for the medical device manufacturers to take a plunge in this industry. Other than COPD, NIV has also been successfully used in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and postoperative and post-transplantation respiratory failure, reducing intubation rates, ICU stays, and the overall mortality rate.

Recent Developments and Opportunities

The advantages that NIV treatment offers is tremendous. One of the key areas for the vendors in Europe to target is the private sector. With medical device reimbursement getting strict, NIV has the edge over the other treatments and the reimbursement guidelines look promising. This trend is catching up and is sure to prevail in the UK as well. Our market assessment was focused at countries such as the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, and Finland. A research on first-line NIV treatment was associated with a decrease in 60-day mortality rate from 27 to 9% throughout the study period. The incidence of increasing chronic respiratory diseases and NIV treatment reducing the mortality rate shows the perfect balance in the medical device industry.

The Futuristic View of NIV Treatment

Other than the private sector, if you’re an NIV treatment vendor, home care ventilation is another booming sector to watch out for.  Most of the patients suffering from COPD are suggested home ventilation by the physicians, thus, leading to the reduction in the length of stays in hospitals. Tapping the home care market will ensure high returns when it comes to home care ventilation. Not just that, with the high risk associated with hospital-acquired infections, home care ventilators are a great choice to stay safe and healthy.

How We Help in Smarter Decision Making

Being the preferred partner for more than 55 Fortune 500 firms, we can help any leading global respiratory device manufacturer make the right decision about exploring the untapped sectors. In a recent market assessment engagement, we helped a global pharmaceutical conglomerate evaluate the prevalence and magnitude of COPD and global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) across 10 European countries. During the course of this research, it was found that with the growing rate of COPD, sleep apnoea, and other respiratory disease, the usage of NIV treatment in both hospitals and home care segment is sure to go sky high.

Here is a successful market assessment case study on how we helped a leading global respiratory health products manufacturer make the right decision when it comes to market entry. You can read the complete case study here!

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Pain-Free Reimbursement Pathways for Wound Care Dressings

With path-breaking growth in innovative technologies, the medical device industry is here to stay. In terms of key products, this industry consists of medical devices like orthopedic instruments, surgical instruments, diagnostic apparatuses, stents and catheters, syringes and hypodermic needles and intravenous equipment. Hospitals and physicians use a wide array of medical devices, but it must be noted that it’s the public and private payers who reimburse and set the rules. Having the right medical device reimbursement strategy in place will help your business stay ahead of competitors by understanding the profitability of products. Not just that, it will also ensure that companies have a great revenue stream and profitability for new technologies.

In the wound care industry, getting insights into the right medical device reimbursement pathway is important for ameliorating sales growth in the future. Whether you’re venturing into the medical device industry or a medical device company, you can count on us to help you make the right decision. At Infiniti, we give you insights into the 5 top ways on how to work on your medical device’s reimbursement.

  1. Plan right from the design phase – Your medical device reimbursement assessment starts right when you design the type of wound care dressing. This is where our medical device reimbursement consultants will thoroughly analyze the impact on product design and its sales.
  1. Be prepared for the shortfalls – Fee-for-Service (FFS) medical reimbursement model and value-based purchasing (VBP) medical reimbursement are some of the limitations faced by the professionals in the industry.
  1. Think from a medical director’s perspective – If you’re having a tough time getting the right coverage for your wound care dressings, it’s time to feel their pain. Market your product to a payer. Anticipate their objections.
  1. Analyze country-specific reimbursement pathways – Though the reimbursement pathways are easier to navigate because they are often single-payer, government-based systems, coverage decisions are made by the local Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). Get your personalized analysis of location-specific reimbursement pathways here.
  1. Broaden your spectrum – When you develop a new wound care dressing product, try not to focus on the clearance only from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But, also try and meet requirements from Current Procedural Terminology (CPT, a registered trademark of the American Medical Association) and/or Healthcare Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes.

 

If you’re a medical equipment company, we understand how crucial it is to obtain coverage and funding for your healthcare products. At Infiniti, our medical device reimbursement consultants are here to assist you effectively. With the help of our market assessment plan, innovation tracking and stakeholder intelligence, you’re sure to get your medical device reimbursement plan in place and gain strategic insights into the wound care dressings industry.

Want to know how we helped a global medical device manufacturer improve ROIs for their products?

Read more here

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Cost-Saving Ideas for the Future of American Healthcare

Healthcare in the United States is presently facing turmoil and uncertainty. As Donald Trump and the Republican Party attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act—nicknamed ‘Obamacare’—those in need of health care in the country are left with many questions. What will replace Obamacare? How will access to the healthcare system change? What will the cost be to individuals? Moreover, how will this supposed healthcare reform impact the healthcare industry financially?

While some of these burning questions will remain unanswered for some time, what we can ascertain is that there are many ways the healthcare industry can cut costs to become more effective and save money in these turbulent times. Here are some small but significant ways for the healthcare industry to save money:

  1. Reduce use of anesthesia providers: According to RAND Health, roughly USD 1.3 billion was spent on anesthesia providers during gastrointestinal procedures in 2009. However, only roughly USD 0.2 billion was spent on high-risk patients. Reducing anesthesia use and anesthesia providers for low-risk patients could potentially save over USD 1 billion dollars.
  2. Adopt ultrasound guidance: Using ultrasound guidance for central line placement helps to avoid catheter complications and errors during insertion. According to RAND, reducing errors can result in savings of over USD 50 million.
  3. Modernize communications equipment: Too many hospitals and doctors’ offices are still using outdated technology such as fax machines and early-2000s scanners. Modernizing equipment will allow for faster and more effective communication between staff and patients and between healthcare providers. Modern, high-quality equipment will also have greater compliance with digitized medical records and will eliminate many repair costs.
  4. Ensure as many patients as possible have health insurance: If Trump’s mysterious new plan (Trumpcare?) is in any way similar to Obamacare, as many speculate that it could be, ensuring high enrolment numbers is essential to keeping costs down for a large number of people.
  5. Increase diagnostic efficiency: Adopting more effective and advanced diagnostic methods, techniques, and machinery will allow healthcare providers to make diagnoses with greater accuracy. Reducing misdiagnoses and allowing more patients to receive the right treatment will save money in the long term.
  6. Encourage use of generic drugs: Policies encouraging the use of less expensive generic drugs will benefit the patients and the healthcare system as a whole, resulting in cost savings and increased and more affordable access to necessary treatment.
  7. Increase regular inspections of healthcare facilities: Inspecting healthcare facilities on a regular basis and ensuring that they are adhering to regulation, law, and the health code will promote trust between facilities and patients. Such inspections will go a long way to protect the public, resulting in greater patient retention and the number of patients who are choosing to opt in for healthcare.
  8. Reduce risk of HAI: According to the CDC, there were 721,800 cases of hospital-associated infection (HAI) in 2011. Patients undergoing central line, catheter, or ventilator related treatments are often at risk for infection. Preventing infection by increasing hand hygiene, barrier precautions, and antibiotic use, amongst other things, will result in significant cost savings for the industry.
  9. Increase preventative measures for patients: Increasing preventative procedures and exams, such as colonoscopies and mammograms, will save money in the long term by working to prevent serious cancers and other diseases that require intensive and expensive treatment.
  10. Price and quality transparency: According to Fortune, market competition can work to control healthcare costs just as it works to control costs in other industries. Hospitals and other healthcare providers being transparent about their costs will create competition, encouraging hospitals to improve and strive to meet patient needs. It will also save patients money as they will be able to select the most affordable treatment and hospital for themselves.

 

In the coming days and weeks, we can expect to see where Donald Trump intends to take the future of the US healthcare system and whether or not his proposed healthcare reform will implement cost saving ideas for the healthcare industry and patients alike. Hopefully, healthcare providers in the US will be able to benefit, reduce costs, and work towards more effective treatment and a healthier population.

 

 

 

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Navigating Through the Future of Medical Devices – A Webinar Addressing the Critical Issues Faced by Medical Device Manufacturers in 2017

A key strategy to stay ahead of the curve in today’s dynamic medical device market is to become “agile innovators.” Medical device companies that adapt to these trends will find enormous opportunities to grow and thrive.

 

The process of introducing medical devices to markets across the globe can be complex, requiring an understanding of premarket preparation, and approval to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Furthermore, with the advent of various micro and macro trends such as enhanced buying power of payers or providers, complex regulatory scrutiny, and the introduction of new healthcare delivery models, medical device manufacturers have been struggling captureto develop effective market entry strategies. Recently, for instance, the industry’s key influencers have sounded upbeat about the Republican Congress and the new Trump administration during recent interactions with analysts. And while there are many open questions, top executives insist that the potential repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act may not have a massive impact on the sales volumes of medical devices across certain regions.

Our medical device industry experts feel that a key to dealing with the dynamism of the medical devices industry is “becoming agile innovators.” With payers’ increasing focus on value-based reimbursement and health systems’ continuing interest in outpatient services and home care services, the landscape for the healthcare industry will likely through a massive change. “Medical device companies that adapt to these trends will find enormous opportunities to grow and thrive,” says Vivek Sikaria, AVP: Market Intelligence and Advisory at Infiniti Research.

In our webinar, which was held on the 22nd and 23rd of February, the speakers focused on how the lower probability of earning premium margins by merely selling standard clinical features and new devices into existing market spaces would create significant pressure for strategy experts to identify new markets to sell their solutions. The identification of such segments or open markets where they can sell their end-to-end solutions, helped key decision makers secure additional revenue and maintain market shares.

Here’s an insight into the top four questions addressed by our speakers:

 

  • What parameters should you consider while assessing demand across new markets?
  • How to accurately predict demand for your new medical device product or technology?
  • Traditional models of market estimation V/s the best practices. Which is better?
  • How to track the market performance of emerging medical devices or technologies?

 

 

Emergency Life Sciences

Emergency Life Sciences: Trends and Players

The global landscape of life sciences has grown increasingly dynamic and competitive over the years. When it comes to emergency life sciences and management solutions, the focus has been on establishing systems and solutions that are proactive and can reduce the number of easily avoidable deaths and permanent physical damage. The demand for better solutions, in turn, have highlighted the pressing need for highly integrated emergency management systems.

Emergency management systems: components and developments

Emergency communication and physical assistance are two vital aspects of emergency management systems. Most cases end up turning critical due to a lack of communication. For this reason, mobile optimization has become a necessity in the life sciences industry. Several vendors are now using mobile phones as a channel to bring patients, payers, and healthcare providers onto a common platform. Mobile optimization, not only helps to improve patient engagement but also leads to better health outcomes. Apart from mobile phones, voice logger systems are also used extensively.

Some of the advantages of voice logger systems include:

  1. Increased efficiency due to quick and easy call retrieval
  2. Storage of data for future use
  3. Data protection and security

Voice logger systems provide web-based administrative and user consoles so that callers can gain access to call records from any geographic location and on any web browser. The call data is archived for reference purpose. Additionally, most of the data stored on voice logger systems comply with privacy policies and are highly secured.

Emergency location tracking systems, automatic vehicle location tracking, along with active GPS-based tracking will go a long way when it comes to notification of distress calls and provide timely solutions.

Ambulances that are equipped with the latest technology, combined with medical professionals, paramedics, and nursing staff, form the physical assistance portion of emergency management solutions. One major issue with most ambulances is the lack of forethought when it comes to ergonomics, storage space, and equipment. These shortcomings affect the performance of the medical crew, making life-threatening situations difficult to handle. For these reasons, the concept of designing ambulances has been redefined. Ambulances are no longer just vehicles that ferry patients; they have now evolved into ‘hospitals on wheels.’ There have been major developments in the integration of digital diagnostics and communication system. Designers are working on equipping ambulances with improved capabilities and access to specialist advisors to facilitate better outcomes for patients.

In addition to better ambulance design and prototyping, integration of telemedicine and training of paramedical staff are equally important. It is proved that by providing the right on-the-spot treatment, clinical damage, and death can bring down by up to 40%. Along with saving patient lives, intelligent ambulance design brings down the cost of operations and other medical procedures.

Above all, the most crucial part of emergency management systems is providing the proper emergency response services in hospitals. It is critical that hospitals are equipped with staff and infrastructure that is dedicated solely to handling emergency life sciences. Emergency management solutions are incomplete if hospitals are ill-equipped to handle emergency medical needs.

Some of the key players in emergency management solutions include HCL, Cognizant, BVG India Ltd, Infogain and Tech Mahindra.

 

medical packaging

Healthcare Packaging: Emerging Market Trends in EMEA, APAC, and NA

 

Packaging is important on both the functional and aesthetic levels, and will undoubtedly have a major impact on the future of healthcare as a whole. It has the potential to transform the way patients receive and use medication, and improve the quality and appeal of pharmaceutical products. In this blog, we cover some of the major trends in healthcare packaging by region, looking at both specific materials and general strategies.

EMEA

One trend in the EMEA market is the creation of packaging that encourages patient adherence. Getting patients to take their medication and follow a strict dosage schedule can be challenging, which is why healthcare packaging manufacturers are working on ways to make packaging more informative as well as supportive, through more attractive designs and clearer text. Further, some companies are taking the approach of creating special kits or boxes for patients that transform the medication process into something a bit more “fun” and pleasant.

Another related trend that will continue to become more prevalent in the next several years is personalization. Each patient has individual needs and therefore cannot be grouped by an illness category and treated the same as all other patients. The idea behind personalized packaging is to provide flexibility and ensure that the specific patient requirements are met, and, even more importantly, that the patient feels like they are receiving a truly individualized product. Packaging manufacturers are even seeking ways to create “smart,” tech-oriented packaging that would allow patients to directly communicate with their doctors.

APAC

Given that the APAC region is projected to experience the highest growth rate in the healthcare packaging market between 2016 and 2020, there is a great deal of change and innovation occurring. One major market trend is the emergence of flexible plastic packaging as a replacement for rigid plastic. The benefits of flexible plastic are numerous, and flexible plastic packaging allows companies to meet strict health guidelines, save money, and provide packaging that is far more aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, flexible plastic speaks to the growing sustainability concerns in the region.

Directly related to flexible plastic packaging is another key trend: tube packaging. The demand for tube packaging will continue to increase in the region as a result of urbanization and an increase in disposable income. Tube packaging includes squeeze tubes and laminated tubes, both of which are designed with sustainability and convenience in mind. Additionally, tube packaging is known for its excellent barrier properties, which can protect products during transport and help increase their shelf life.

North America

The North American healthcare market, most notably in the United States, is undergoing serious renovation. One major trend in the healthcare packaging market is the use of glass packaging. Glass packaging is beneficial in some ways: it is 100% recyclable, impermeable and has no chemical interaction with its contents, preventing changes in taste, smell, and chemical makeup. While it may be more of an investment when compared with plastic, glass packaging has long term value, and as healthcare facilities improve, the demand for this type of packaging will continue to increase.

Another important trend in this region is the outsourcing of pharmaceutical packaging, also known as contract packaging. Outsourcing is critical, as it reduces time to market and allows manufacturers to focus on in-house responsibilities and necessities. This trend is being fuelled by the reduction in overhead costs and increased flexibility and will continue into 2020. Further, outsourcing is the most effective way to keep up with the growing healthcare sector and the demand for pharmaceutical products; it would be nearly impossible for manufacturers to try to bear such a heavy burden in-house.

Consolidation of Healthcare Sector

Impact of the Consolidation of the Healthcare Market

In today’s world, consolidation is key. In the past few years, financial institutions, airlines, and even retail department stores have all consolidated and transformed. Now the healthcare industry is going through its transformational phase for the purpose of consolidation.

Technological innovations and noteworthy regulatory changes backed by market dynamics are the key drivers of the rapid consolidation of health systems. Today, hospitals are acquiring not only other hospitals but also insurance business as well as physician practices. Healthcare service is no longer limited to the traditional volume driven, fee-for-service (FFS) system. Rather, the focus is on value-based care (VBC), which demands diversification and innovation on the part of healthcare providers. Most of the consolidation that has been happening in the healthcare market is horizontal in nature –i.e. hospitals acquiring other hospitals.

 

Ways in which consolidation is taking place

The U.S. health system consists of four verticals: large chains, mid-tier systems, Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) and small community health systems. It would be wrong to assume that consolidation of these verticals is a recent phenomenon. All of these groups have undergone consolidation with the aim of broadening their geographical reach, market share, and launching their new service lines.

That being said, the current trend of consolidation is no longer limited to traditional affiliations, collaborations, and joint ventures. As the focus has shifted to value-based care, healthcare systems require better technology and improved capabilities to deliver the best results. Situations like these have led to the consolidation of medical service providers with technical service providers in order to provide the right service at low costs. This is occurring most frequently in cases of large chains.

When it comes to mid-tier healthcare systems, the focus is on consolidation within the region as well as in neighboring market regions. The consolidation is done through the extensive integration of healthcare providers, from the primary level to post-acute care. This kind of consolidation serves two purposes:

  1. Value-based service provided to that particular population
  2. Acquisition of a better share in that particular regional market

Finally, there are AMCs, which tend to consolidate and emerge as specialist health systems dedicated to a specific type of illness.

 

Impact of consolidation

1.Higher prices for healthcare purchasers

Higher prices are perhaps one of the greatest impacts of health care market consolidation. Also, as regulators push for transparency regarding quality and pricing from various health systems, there are greater chances for the emergence of differential payment for higher quality services. At the same time, government payers who are looking for ways in which to decrease prices will pressurize health systems to reduce their costs and manage risks.

Overall, the market is sure to be quite volatile in the beginning. Those healthcare systems that can leverage the market and manage risks are sure to deal with the pressure in an effective manner.

2. Tough atmosphere for small hospitals and insurers

Due to the apparent rise in payment rates, small hospitals will be faced with some challenges, including having to transition to electronic medical records, which is capital intensive. In fact, this transition has resulted in the emergence of contracting models like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Also, there is a trend among younger physicians of wanting to work with large organizations, rather than serve in small hospitals or partner in small practices. This makes it even more difficult for small hospitals to survive.

Small insurers will also find it difficult to continue in this challenging environment, as multi-state employers prefer insurers who can serve their employees throughout the country, rather than just locally.

3. Fostering of competition

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) sees to it that both public and private insurance exchanges create healthy competition so that there is less of a barrier to entry for insurers. This in turn will benefit potential customers.

Apart from the insurers, competition will also be fostered among healthcare systems, which will help purchasers get better value for services. Also, with the enforcement of the anti-trust policy, there is sure to be better pricing for services, as well increased chances of cross-market mergers and reduction in independent practice associations.

With all of this in mind, it is a bit too early to predict the exact outcome of the consolidation of healthcare systems. But with the system undergoing rapid consolidation, it has become even more important for industry stakeholders to consider regulatory scrutiny so that a strategy for the long-term viability of the healthcare system can evolve.