Megatrends for 2017 in Health Care-Part I

For those of you that want to sink you mojo into huge opportunities in 2017, look no further than the health field. However, you must keep in mind that these opportunities lie where few dare to have ventured in the past and “change” here is the norm. The current make-up of the health field is on an unsustainable path and either we effect some changes or we won’t be able to afford health care as we know it today.

While our current health care system is loaded with conflicts and problems these lead to huge opportunities. The Affordable Care Act was a daring step but it turned out to be not affordable and structurally not sustainable. Government and corporations need to rapidly change this unsustainable process while continuing to ensure basic affordable health care availability to everyone . As government embarks on changes to the current system there are lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Here are five rocks entrepreneurs can look under for opportunities:

  1. Opportunities that deal with increasing competition and those that reduce the cost of administration of health delivery systems without affecting the quality of care are at the top of the list. Today in America, health care administration costs including insurance billing are about 30% of  total health care delivery costs. The other advanced nations in the world average 15-18% or about half of our costs as a % of total. Opportunities that can simplify the admin processes, streamline insurance and increase competition can save hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Competition across state lines can create efficiencies. Entrepreneurs with ideas that can streamline the vast administrative pipeline created by government and insurers can capitalize on this area. Mandate minimization and market forces will ensure that corporations and government deliver what consumers want and need.
  2. The drug delivery areas are rapidly changing. Life extension through quality living, eating and exercising and drugs that can extend quality of life into the 80’s and 90’s represent important business opportunities. Such opportunities will be enhanced in coming years with some revolutionary drugs, combined with healthy living alternatives, and genetics breakthroughs. Affordability of these options is a key to success.
  3. A great deal of the US medical expenses go for malpractice insurance, in fact the number is over $60 Billion a year and that number is understated as it does not include the cost of excess testing that doctors incur to avoid even a shade of malpractice liability. Malpractice insurance reform can provide a significant opportunity for cost reductions without affecting the quality of health care.
  4. Innovation areas where medical practitioners can identify diseases much earlier can save both lives as well as dollars. This field is ripe for entrepreneurs.
  5. Health care informatics is also an important opportunity for entrepreneurs so that the vast amount of health care information on each patient is easily accessible to anyone providing health services to the patient. Health records informatics must realize the full advantages of incorporating Artificial Intelligence into these systems.

To be continued in my next blog with more health care thoughts! Have a Happy and Healthy 2017.

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