January 16, 2015

Three Healthcare Hotspots in 2015

Healthcare accounts for about one-sixth of the US economy. This Friday afternoon, the new president of EBG Advisors (an affiliate of Epstein Becker Green), Bob Atlas, filled us in on three of this year's hot topics in healthcare.

(1) Whether the Supreme Court will rule against the Administration on King v. Burwell, which could have a negative effect on federal healthcare exchanges. 

(2) The growth of Medicare's movement to alternative modes of financing, both with Medicare Advantage Plans and the Shared Savings Program. There's a growing interest in this, particularly as large provider organizations are looking at how they can participate in "risk-based payment."

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(3) In the life sciences space, the continued emergence of innovation, particularly in digital healthcare. A lot of new products from startups and mid-stage companies are being classified as life sciences products (such as phone apps that measure health metrics). Third-party payers want to know whether they should be paying for these things--but don't yet know whether the products' claims hold up.

Bob joined EBG Advisors last week after around 40 years in the delivery and financing of healthcare, including helping to develop HMOs back in the '70s, and most recently, advising North Carolina's HHS Secretary on Medicaid reform. He says the government pays for at least half of healthcare costs (between Medicaid, Medicare and federal government subsidies through Obamacare exchanges).

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