Providence St. Joseph Health CEO: 4 predictions on how the healthcare industry will change in 2018

Rod Hochman, MD, president and CEO of Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, said continued healthcare policy discussions in Washington, D.C., will lead providers to become more proactive about mitigating care costs for patients and their communities.

Along with discussions at the state and federal levels, policy reform, population health and the increasing reliance on technology will be among the top priorities hospitals and health systems will focus on in 2018.

Here are four trends Dr. Hochman and other Providence St. Joseph leaders expect to see in the new year.

1. Health providers will push to preserve Medicaid and Medicare. While lawmakers aim to minimize Medicare and Medicaid spending, healthcare providers will work overtime in 2018 to voice how critical the programs are to the health of millions of Americans.

2. New revenue streams in the form of digital innovation. Hospitals and health systems will increasingly look to develop new technologies to improve healthcare delivery and offset declining reimbursements from traditional payers.

3. Technology and the development of personalized medicine to better engage patients. Healthcare organizations, as well as tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, will look to leverage cloud computing and machine learning technology to allow patients to share and access medical information quicker. Healthcare companies will also place a greater importance on integrating genomic data with clinical and other personal health data to provide individualized care regimens to mitigate disease and other health conditions before they become detrimental.

4. Healthcare organizations will increasingly engage in nontraditional partnerships. Providers will team up with community organizations and businesses to help people obtain access to care and the resources they need. Providence St. Joseph officials also expect more healthcare institutions to engage with payers and drugmakers to improve efficiency and lower drug costs to improve patients' access to care.

To access the leaders' full predictions for 2018, click here.

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