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Three Healthcare Megatrends

The true driver of healthcare is not a Republican or Democrat, the Affordable Care Act or American Health Care Act.

Three mega trends will guide the industry over the next decade, according to Baylor College Of Medicine senior vice president of clinical affairs James McDeavitt. 

The Rise Of Chronic Disease And Obesity

James McDeavitt

McDeavitt gave the crowd at Bisnow's Big South Healthcare event homework: go home and Google CDC obesity maps. "It's stunning, the prevalence of obesity and how rapidly it's changed. If this was an infectious disease, we'd be panicking,' McDeavitt said.

"The increasing burden of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hyper-tension, arthritis, is a looming epidemic that we need to work as a healthcare system to solve." 

The Cost Of Chronic Disease 

Calculating Bills

A vast majority — 86% — of all healthcare spending in 2010 was for people with one or more chronic medical conditions. The global economic impact of the five leading chronic diseases — cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease and respiratory disease — could reach $47 trillion over the next 20 years, according to a study by the World Economic Forum

The Out-Of-Pocket Cost Of Healthcare 

Doctor's office

"Healthcare inflation is generally 2% to 3% more than the consumer price index," McDeavitt said. "Every year, more money is coming out of Americans' pockets for their care. If you made $100K in 1998, based on the gap between cost inflation and wages, the impact of spending power is about $30K. It's a stunning figure." 

"When people complain the impact of healthcare cost on the middle class, it's sending-your-kids-to-college money, buy-a-new-car money. Not discretionary funding," McDeavitt said. 

McDeavitt thinks the three trends are a tipping point toward a more value-based world of healthcare, one that focuses on overall wellness.