Healthcare Management Consultants Predict "Top Ten Healthcare Trends" for the Decade Ahead

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Applied Management Systems, Inc. (AMS), the Burlington, Massachusetts-based healthcare management consulting firm, has released its Top Ten Trends for Healthcare Management for 2010.

Applied Management Systems, Inc. (AMS), the Burlington, Massachusetts-based healthcare management consulting firm, has released its Top Ten Trends for Healthcare Management for 2010. The “Top Ten” report is a regular prediction the firm provides its clients and industry leaders to provide a forward-looking, big picture context for the industry.

"Our clients look forward to our prognostications," said Alan Goldberg, president of AMS, "because of our perspective on their industry. We are at the midpoint of the decade with no name — the oughts. This is a good time to reflect and move forward. We were established in 1967, but we worked at almost 200 hospitals and health systems in the last two years. That gives us great comparative knowledge and the ability to see common challenges and spot trends."

The Top Ten Trends for 2010 are:

1. Focus on patient safety

Hospitals will dedicate themselves to preventing medical errors and improving patient safety at all levels of the organization. Wireless will be an enabler — helping to merge and deliver information to avoid errors.

2. Electronic medical records arrive

Electronic medical records will become a reality. Transportable “e-records” will help to support higher quality care, while protecting patient privacy and cutting costs. Cell phones will become the “key” and only communication device we will need.

3. Cost containment

As healthcare costs continue to increase, driven by medical inflation and volume growth, policymakers will consider limits on reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals as well as technologies to reduce costs in the long term. Administrators will again be asked to do “more with less.”

4. Pay for performance

Incentives to reward physicians and hospitals for quality care and improved outcomes will take hold. Modeled after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ voluntary quality-indicator reporting system, similar "pay for performance" incentives will help improve the quality of patient care.

5. Information technology gets respect

As information technology is recognized as a vital part of hospital operations, consuming a higher percentage of the organization’s budget, IT management will become an integral part of the clinical management process and member of the management team.

6. Consolidation of insurers

Insurers will continue to consolidate creating additional leverage in contract negotiations. Similar to company pension plans, our health insurance will become defined contribution not defined benefit. 401K-style health plans arrive.

7. Nurse staffing

Following California’s legislation that sets mandatory staffing levels in reaction to nursing shortages, more states will consider similar legislation, prompting a deep fissure within the industry over whether such laws are necessary or harmful to staff and patients. The laws themselves will cause more shortages.

8. Healthcare professional shortage

As demand outpaces supply, the industry will increase compensation and develop pro-active recruitment programs to help promote healthcare careers at higher education institutions.

9. Here come the baby boomers!

The aging “baby boom” generation presents a major public policy concern for long-term care due to its size and anticipated use of resources, as well as boomers’ “high maintenance” reputation compared to their predecessors.

10. The uninsured

The large uninsured and underinsured population will continue to present the system with a grave dilemma. Due to economic pressures the many working poor and young workers in their 20s will choose to be uninsured.

To obtain a document comparing the Top Ten Trends Today and the Top Ten Trends for the Future, visit their web site at http://www.aboutams.com.

Applied Management Systems provides healthcare management services in three divisions: Systems Engineering, Accounts Receivable Management and Health Information Services. Utilizing their extensive knowledge and proprietary database, AMS consultants provide the healthcare industry with effective operational consulting in benchmarking, revenue cycle management, supply chain management, strategic planning, and health information management. For a complete list of services and capabilities, please see the AMS web site at http://www.aboutams.com.

Contacts:

Alan J. Goldberg, President

3 New England Executive Park

Burlington, MA 01803

Tom Webb, Partner

9175 Guilford Road, Suite 308

Columbia, MD 21046

800-462-1685

http://www.aboutams.com

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Alan J. Goldberg
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