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New Entrants Grabbing Slice of Changing Healthcare Market

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2014

At least $42 billion of the $2.8 trillion US healthcare industry is up for grabs as new market entrants from Walmart to technology start-ups seek a slice of the pie, according to a new study.

In a trend that threatens to upend the healthcare industry, new market players are capitalizing on freshly empowered consumers and the drive to create a value-based medical services delivery system, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study, "Healthcare's new entrants: Who will be healthcare's Amazon.com?"

"There are huge openings for these new entrants to disrupt the healthcare sector," Ceci Connolly, managing director of PwC's Health Research Institute, said Tuesday during a webinar on the study. "In overwhelming numbers, consumers are willing to abandon old models for more efficient, convenient care. … We are seeing this go far beyond flu shots."

The key findings of the study are:

  • Two dozen of last year's Fortune 50 companies are new entrants to the healthcare market
  • New entrants are driving "democratization and decentralization" of healthcare, which is boosting access to medical services
  • Consumers' growing insistence on price and transparency presents an opportunity to new entrants and a risk to traditional healthcare organizations
  • New entrants are not only seeking a share of the $2.8 trillion medical services market but also "reshaping and expanding the $267 billion US fitness and wellness industry"
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