Industry Status Check: Confidence and Concern

Bob Wertz, February 1, 2017

Two recent HealthLeaders Media surveys reveal data that suggests reasons for both confidence and concern.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Our 2017 Annual Industry Outlook Survey shows that 83% of leaders have at least some level of commitment to a transition from fee-for-service to value-based care, which is encouraging. Still, even among the 66% of organizations that are fully committed and underway with such efforts or that are engaged in experimental or pilot programs, only 18% of their net patient revenue comes from value-based models.

Within three years they expect that to jump to 44%, which would demonstrate continued progress, but that still leaves a majority of revenue coming from fee-for-service models. Payers and providers have work to do in developing workable models that reward quality outcomes. 

The federal government plays a significant role in regulating and influencing the industry, and healthcare leaders are almost evenly split on whether they see the incoming Trump administration as positive/very positive (41%) or negative/very negative (37%) for the industry. Ten percent expect a neutral impact, and 13% don't know what to expect. The results are from Healthcare in the Trump Era, a survey by HealthLeaders Media that was taken in December 2016 as part of our series "Shaping Healthcare's Future: The Trump Transition."

There is consensus, however, on several key issues. Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, only 7% say the best option is to keep it as it is; another 27% favor repeal and replace; but a majority, 66%, advocate making changes to the existing law. 

Most respondents, 65%—including 73% of those who see a Trump administration as positive and 69% who see it as negative—call for reducing regulations, but within reason, noting that some regulations are needed.

There is enough concern among healthcare leaders that half of all respondents say they are putting some strategic plans on hold until they know more about the Trump administration. 

Our survey asked leaders to name one regulation they would like to see eliminated, and there was no clear majority response to the open-ended question. Nearly one in 10 suggested eliminating the individual mandate and tax penalty (9.7%), while a similar number (9.4%) responded more generally, citing a need to simplify and reduce provider documentation regulations.

Industry leaders must help shape the future, rather than just waiting to see what happens under a Trump administration and a Republican-controlled House and Senate. They need to make clear to policymakers which provisions of healthcare law need to stay, which need to go, and which need to be revised.

Bob Wertz

Bob Wertz is editorial director for HealthLeaders Media. He may be contacted at bwertz@healthleadersmedia.com.

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