Cost control top theme for healthcare industry in 2010

February 11, 2010

Healthcare cost control is the overarching theme for 2010, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute's "Top 10 health industry issues in 2010" report.

Healthcare cost control is the overarching theme for 2010, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute's "Top 10 health industry issues in 2010" report.

"Healthcare typically lags trends in the business cycle by a year or more. While flat may be the new growth for other sectors of the U.S. economy, the recession could hit healthcare in 2010," David Chin, MD, partner and leader of the research institute, said in a prepared statement. "The primary emphasis for all healthcare organizations in the year ahead will be on reducing costs and creating greater value in the health system, a focus that will have a domino effect from one sector to another and redefine roles, responsibilities, and relationships."

This year's top 10 issues, according to the institute:

1) Intense effort to reduce healthcare costs.

2) Aftermath of health reform.

3) Government acceleration of change through rewards and penalties.

4) Focus on fraud and mistakes.

5) Technology and telecommunications sectors becoming leading players in healthcare.

6) Big pharma joining the healthcare delivery team.

7) Physician groups rejoining health systems.

8) Alternative care delivery models emerging.

9) H1N1 elevating emphasis on readiness for public health outbreaks.

10) Community health becoming new social responsibility.