1. Tackling the opioid crisis – Opioids are the leading cause of death for US adults younger than 50. (1) This year all stakeholders must collaborate to prevent opioid misuse, improve treatments for chronic pain, and support patients struggling to recover from opioid addiction.(2)
2. Social determinants move to the forefront – As healthcare organizations continue to shift toward value-based care, they are working to understand the social factors that affect health. (3) In fact, 73% of provider executives and 50% of payer executives are working with community allies, such as schools, grocery stores, and churches, to address these social issues. (2)
3. Healthcare reform isn’t over, it’s just more complicated – Many are predicting the replacement of Medicaid expansion with a block grant system – a move that will reduce federal spending on the program by up to $800 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.(4)
4. Emphasis on the patient experience – Healthcare providers have succeeded in making administrative tasks more convenient for patients (5) but 2018 will see significant strategic investments in patient experience. Forty-nine percent of provider executives said revamping the patient experience is one of their organization’s top three priorities over the next five years.(1)
5. Maintaining leadership alignment to organizational initiatives – The turnover rate in the C-Suite is steady at 18%, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives, (6) which is costly and disruptive. Look for increased attention to executive recruitment and retention efforts, as well as succession planning, throughout the year.