State of healthcare industry: A time of rapid and significant change

It’s an extraordinary time for the healthcare industry, particularly here in the U.S., with our health system going through significant, and rapid, change.

We’ve seen the rollout of the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, and in recent weeks the Supreme Court upheld the subsidies for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces.

The healthcare industry continues to explore new and innovative approaches to historical challenges associated with quality, efficiency, care delivery and coordination, and cost effectiveness. The shift to value based care is being led by public and private payers and will encompass a variety of clinical and financial needs.

We are seeing key trends that are informing many of the dynamics and changes in the system:

  • Demographics and public health issues: an aging population dealing with multiple chronic illnesses
  • More Americans having health coverage in some form
  • A need to deliver care more cost-effectively, with less waste, and more coordination
  • Care delivered in new settings and at times by different caregivers
  • Consumers more actively involved in their own care
  • Pharmaceutical innovation creating treatments, and in some cases cures, for life’s most threatening diseases

With all of the forces shaping the changes in the industry, providers and patients alike need trusted partners who can provide real solutions to address these issues and help them navigate in a dynamic and changing environment.

At Cardinal Health, we work across the care continuum using customer insights to provide solutions to help address today’s most pressing issues while looking to the future needs of a changing system. We face these challenges with a great sense of privilege, responsibility and optimism, providing resources to more than 75% of U.S. hospitals and 20,000 pharmacies, and serving 1.5 million patients in their homes through Cardinal Health at Home.

It is our belief that patients deserve access to high quality care in a well-coordinated and safe environment, and the tools we bring to the market help drive this mission by helping our provider customers achieve better outcomes at lower cost.

Some examples of the innovative work that we are doing include:

  • Offering an integrated and analytical supply chain technology to drive better management of inventory, eliminate waste, and increase patient safety
  • Offering valuable services to our biopharmaceutical partners in regulatory sciences, patient access and support, and health economics outcomes research
  • Performance improvement consulting, addressing major pain points facing our integrated customers, increasing capacity, improving patient accessibility, reducing wait time, and increasing perioperative inpatient preparedness
  • Medication therapy management to ensure that patients start and stay on the right medicine

Most of our customers, across multiple channels, are experiencing new dynamics as both public and private sector forces push them to deliver care more cost effectively, in a more coordinated fashion, into emerging sites of care, and in such a way as to bring the patient more squarely into the equation.  We are working to serve today’s needs while at the same time leveraging our experience to address the demands of a system in transition.

Editor’s note: This perspective originally appeared in a LinkedIn Post. George Barrett is now a LinkedIn Influencer – follow him on LinkedIn  to get his latest insights.