Heading into a new year, as a healthcare finance leader, it’s important to adjust your current plans, business practices and strategies to stay ahead of emerging trends.
With that in mind, after talking to over 500 healthcare finance professionals, as well as industry thought leaders and analysts in the past year, members of our healthcare practice have put together their top predictions to help you prepare for what’s coming in 2023 and beyond.
In this blog, we share 3 of the healthcare team’s top predictions; if you wish to know more listen to our latest webcast.
Prediction #1 — More consolidations and opportunities for growth
Even with the predicted recession and slow economic growth, I think there are many options for those healthcare organizations who wish to grow and expand their business. According to a recent report by Bain & Company, this environment will create a wealth of opportunity for private equity, venture capital firms, and to some extent, larger companies, to buy, consolidate and create bigger organizations that have a better chance to survive a downturn.
But mergers and acquisitions are not for everyone. Based on the conversations that we have had with healthcare companies, we expect to see a lot more Managed Services Organizations (MSOs) cropping up in a variety of specialty areas. Not familiar with an MSO? Sage’s Health Industry Lead, Brian Bogie, explains the role of an MSO, and how it can help to make your practice run more efficiently in his blog Healthcare MSO or Not to MSO.
And for those organizations who wish to stay the course, consider looking for ways to reduce costs and be more efficient, as well, as search out opportunities to expand your business by offering broader services that bring additional revenue streams and attract new patients.
Prediction #2 — Pandemic induced changes are here to stay
There is no doubt, that the pandemic put virtual care on steroids overnight. Add to that, the growing demands for convenience, the prevalence of chronic diseases and the rising costs of healthcare expenses, The U.S. Virtual care Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 30.28% from 2022 to 2030.
Beyond the obvious benefits for patients, virtual care enables healthcare organizations to:
- Improve the accessibility of healthcare services to a broader set of patients, especially to those in rural and underserved communities
- Break down a number of barriers to care access such as not having transportation to in-person visits or lack of access to home-based care clinicians
- Create new revenue streams by differentiating service offerings targeted to a particular ethnic group, geographic location or specific set of social determinants of health
- Decrease healthcare expenditures for patients, providers and payers alike
In addition to the continual shift to virtual care, you will see more convergence of health tech and digital tech. According to research from Insider Intelligence, 86.7 million people in the U.S. will use a wearable health and fitness device in 2023. The use of these devices encourages the patient to participate in their own personal health management, promoting healthier behaviors and proactive decisions. This not only leads to positive health outcomes, but also reduces visits to hospitals, the need for healthcare services, and access to overly-strained healthcare resources.
Prediction #3 — The need for mental and behavioral healthcare services will accelerate
Nearly 3 years into the pandemic, depression rates have more than tripled, according to a study conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health. Some refer to this as the mental health crisis – The State of Mental Health in America report indicated that almost a third of all adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment that they needed.
So how are healthcare practitioners able to accommodate the increasing need for these services? While its no secret that the rising rate of patients seeking mental and behavioral services has outpaced the clinical resources available in the US, some healthcare providers have found ways to keep pace with the demand, such as:
Offering telehealth services – providing virtual consulting services during the pandemic, not only helped practitioners keep up with the demand, but it also offered a way to grow their practice and expand their reach of patients in different geographies and underserved communities.
Merging or creating a referral network with other mental health practitioners – this can come in many shapes and forms. It could mean merging with other providers through private equity resources or building your own referral network of healthcare practitioners that perhaps have different credentials or a specialty focus that can provide complimentary services to your practice.
In our healthcare practice, we continue to see strong growth in this area of the market, with many mental and behavioral health customers capitalizing on the opportunity to grow and expand through partnering or joining forces with other healthcare organizations.
What does this all mean for healthcare finance leaders?
Here is a sneak peek at one of the steps that you can take to help your organization strengthen the bottom line.
Find cost savings. Look for ways to do more with less. This means optimizing your resources – whether it’s your accounting, administrative, or clinical staff. From an accounting function viewpoint, eliminating error-prone manual tasks, reducing reliance on spreadsheets and automating your key accounting processes, will not only reduce errors, and save staffing time and costs but will also, free up the finance team to do more analysis.
Listen to our webcast for more actionable insights that you can take back to your team, on how to focus on the most profitable services and leverage smart technology investments that can create value across the organization. As well, hear our healthcare industry team share their predictions for 2023, discuss the implications for healthcare and what plan adjustments finance leaders can do now and throughout 2023, to help their organization forge ahead in 2023.
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