Global Healthcare Services Sector Outlook
There is growing consensus among healthcare providers that the current fee-for-services payment mechanism needs an overhaul. While fee-for-services is the pervasive method of billing patients, alternative processes, such as capitation and pay-for-performance are also being considered. We anticipate fee-for-services to be supplemented by capitation and pay-for-performance in the future. In addition to charging patients for screening and doctor visits, pay-for-performance can lead to higher quality of care, as other essential tasks will also be billed. It may lead to an increase in healthcare costs, with the promise that quality of care will go up.
The healthcare system is in a phase where access to capital is constantly diminishing. Big spends are rare and there is increasing uncertainty among borrowers about their ability to repay loans and funding. Healthcare institutions are either postponing large capital-intensive projects or allocating resources to specialty areas that offer a high ROI. Cash-constraints will result into an increase in mergers and acquisitions and lead to fundraising from healthcare providers. However, as only a select few will qualify for an acquisition or funding, the effects of cash-crunch will be palpable in this sector.
Healthcare providers and insurers are aware of the rapidly increasingly population and their growing healthcare needs. The impact is more palpable in the U.S. and Japan – important markets in terms of their standing in the global healthcare market. Providers and insurers are strategizing to tap into the available opportunities in this demographic. Baby boomers around the globe are actively taking charge of their health. Smartphone remains the primary source of information-seeking for this segment. With over 70,000 websites and hundreds of apps disseminating information, providers and insurers will focus on strengthening their digital presence to effectively target this demographic.
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