Prior to the inauguration, Quest Diagnostics facilitated the webinar “President-elect Trump and healthcare: what you need to know,” hosted by Mark Anderson, CEO of AC Group and healthcare IT futurist. Anderson spoke on the state of the healthcare industry in the wake of the election of President Trump. He said that while Trump is just taking office, is appointing his cabinet, and hasn’t fully revealed his plans for healthcare, there are a few things that we can be sure of for our industry:
- Trump’s administration will attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They plan to replace it, but no one is clear on exactly what the new program will look like.
- Containing healthcare costs will continue to be the dominant issue. The 65% of the population who are healthy are spending way too much on health insurance for what they get back. In 2013 a family of 4 paid $22,030 in healthcare costs with PPO coverage.
- The shift will continue from a fee-for-service model to a model based on quality and outcomes. Value-based reimbursement (VBR) will lower costs while improving quality. As of now, 50% of Medicare payments will be moved to VBR by 2018.
- We need the population to stay healthier. Currently, 35% of our population has a chronic disease, which accounts for 65% of healthcare costs.
- The U.S. spends twice as much on healthcare as the rest of the world.
- Physicians continue to join hospitals, which are affiliated with multihospital systems.
- We need to engage patients in their own healthcare. Right now, 50% of the population is not following their physicians’ plans to help them become healthy. Those who are not compliant could pay a penalty.
- Trump wants to renegotiate drug costs, especially with Medicare.
- EHRs are a good start, but 32% of the data collected on a patient has already been collected by someone else. We need better sharing of data by all providers to get rid of duplicate data and reporting. There could be national data standards established, along with stronger data security.
- MIPS and MACRA requirements for 2017 could be delayed.
- Alternatives like telemedicine, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractors are being considered to lower costs and improve outcomes.
We will know more about Trump’s plans after his first 100 days, when he will be finished making his political appointments to the cabinet, agencies, and programs. Currently, there are over 200 key healthcare slots to fill.
What does this mean for you? It’s safe to say that for now if you participate in the Medicare incentive programs you’ll still need to continue reporting. How the government manages the data being collected could change. One thing is certain–patient care coordination requires connecting all providers, and you will need an EHR that can collect and share the right information.