Top 10 Issues Facing Healthcare in 2010
6. Prevention. Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies will be more involved in promoting prevention and seeing results in patient outcomes. "In 2010, expect to see greater alignment of incentives between pharmaceutical companies, payers, and providers," as well as retailers to address education, clinical effectiveness, product safety, wellness, and compliance, according to the report.
7. Physician involvement. Doctors will seek greater stability and electronic connectivity. Accountable care organizations will require all providers to reevaluate their relationships, operational infrastructure, payer contracting, and overall funding models.
8. Alternate care models. Expect an increase in the number and scope of services offered outside physicians' offices and hospitals, perhaps even in workplaces and retail health clinics. Home health services, enabled by technology, will be given a boost through e-mail, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring.
9. Disaster planning. Another wave of H1N1 will put more pressure on public health outbreak response, vaccine supply and distribution, better communication, consideration of bed capacity, sick leave policies, and the role of funding mechanisms and contingency plans.
10. Social responsibility. Community-oriented health services and consumer access will involve neighborhoods and municipalities in an effort to promote personal responsibility. Many of these efforts will continue to be boosted by grants, such as the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation group and the AARP Blue Zones Vitality Project in Albert Lea, MN, which seeks to prolong life expectancy by at least two years.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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