Amid uncertainties, health leaders focus on managing costs, improving data usage

Healthcare leaders are focusing on several priorities in anticipation of major changes to the U.S. healthcare system under President Donald Trump and a Republican Congress, a new survey shows.

According to healthcare improvement organization Premier Inc., the C-suite executives surveyed for its report cited these five top priorities, in order:

  • Managing costs, with a focus on drug spending
  • Moving from meaningful use to meaningful insights
  • Engaging and satisfying consumers
  • Shifting toward population health, risk and scale
  • Continuing differentiation on quality and costs

In this period of great uncertainty and concern, healthcare leaders are understandably focused on managing costs,” Mike Alkire, chief operating officer of Premier, said in a statement. “They are also clearly working hard to make sense of all the data they have, most of which remains in silos. Making sense of that data has clearly become a priority for leaders as has the movement toward a more consumer-centric and accountable care delivery system.”

Republicans earlier this month unveiled the American Health Care Act, which has been heavily criticized by healthcare organizations, Democrats, and many Republicans. Despite heavy-handed lobbying by President Trump, the legislation as it stands is unlikely to pass the House, and even less likely to pass the Senate.

In addition, President Trump last week unveiled a budget that calls for an 18 percent reduction in the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Premier said the survey shows that healthcare leaders will be focused on improving productivity and reducing supply chain inefficiencies and pharmaceutical costs, as well as clinical variation. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) said they “intend to increase, in some cases substantially, their efforts to control the cost of care management,” Premier said, while no respondents planned to reduce investments. 

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