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Population Health Ranks High, But Not Highest, Among Top 10 Exec Concerns

Analysis  |  By Gregory A. Freeman  
   September 19, 2018

Industry leaders cited market disruptions, the transition to value-based care, and other topics. Cybersecurity barely made the list.

Data analytics, comprehensive management of consumer health, and population health services were cited by healthcare leaders in a recent poll as the issues they're most focused on for 2019.

As part of an annual forum, executive participants of the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG) voted on and ranked the 2019 HCEG Top 10 critical challenges, issues and opportunities they expect to face in their organizations in the coming year.

Executives from payer, provider and technology partner organizations were presented with a list of over 25 topics.

These were the 2019 HCEG Top 10 challenges, issues and opportunities:

  1. Data and analytics: Leveraging data (especially clinical) to manage health and drive individual, provider and payer decisions.
  2. Total consumer health: Improving members' overall medical, social, financial, and environmental well-being.
  3. Population health services: Operationalizing community-based health strategy, chronic care management, driving clinical integration, and addressing barriers to health such as social determinants.
  4. Value-based payments: Transitioning to and targeting specific medical conditions to manage cost and improve quality of care.
  5. The digital healthcare organization: health savings accounts, portals, patient literacy, cost transparency, digital payments, customer relationship management, wearables, and other patient-generated data, health monitoring, and omni-channel access/distribution.
  6. Rising pharmacy costs: Implementing strategies to address growth of pharma costs along with benefits to quality of care and total healthcare costs.
  7. External market disruption: New players like Amazon, Chase, Apple, Walmart, and Google.
  8. Operational effectiveness: Implementing lean quality programs, process efficiency (with new core business models), robotics automation, revenue cycle management, and real-time/near-time point of sales transactions.
  9. Opioid management: Developing strategies for identifying and supporting individuals and populations struggling with substance abuse/addiction or at risk of addiction.
  10. Cybersecurity: Protecting the privacy and security of consumer information to maintain consumer trust in sharing data.

Ferris W. Taylor, executive director of HCEG, notes that some HCEG members were surprised that healthcare policy reform did not make the top 10.  Healthcare reform was the voted the seventh most pressing topic a year ago.

Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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