5 Healthcare Uncertainties Made Clearer

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , August 27, 2012

4. M&A in motion. Speaking of mergers, industry consolidation though mergers and acquisitions continue to grow and at a historic pace. The activity that has taken place during the last two years is beginning to reshape who the key players are in healthcare. So far, the number of transactions in 2012 has nearly doubled that of (during this same time period), with healthcare service mergers comprising transactions worth $19.2 billion.

You likely have heard about many of the larger deals, but you may not realize that 21 physician groups have merged thus far in 2012. That's going to change the approach of care delivery in many areas. For additional details on mergers and acquisitions, check out the HealthLeaders intelligence report, M&A: Hospitals Take Control.

5. ICD-10 deadline delay confirmed. The deadline delay sealed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in its final rule Friday was just that, a delay and not the death of this initiative.

Any hospitals and health systems that had been using the uncertainty around the deadline as an opportunity to further procrastinate on implementing this initiative now know that the clock runs out on Oct. 1, 2014. Whether those delay tactics proved to be a  costly mistake for hospitals is something only time can tell. Some of the larger systems, such as Mayo Clinic, however, haven't been wasting time getting training started. They've smartly been proceeding with their plans.

There is a pervasive amount of ambiguity in healthcare these days. All the rules have changed in the last few years, and what you knew last week (before your vacation) may not help you with the decisions you need to make next week (when you get back to work).

To get clarity and ultimately to keep your organization ahead of the curve you'll need to stay nimble and keep a watchful eye for innovative solutions (HealthLeaders Media will help you with that).

Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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