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Bedless Hospitals and Biosimilar Drugs? Healthcare Trends in 2016, Part 2

Our second installment on healthcare trends for 2016 is chock-full of information that will move your allied career in the right direction. Miss the first five trends? Click here to catch up with Part 1.

TREND #6: Bedless hospitals, virtual care
“Bedless” hospitals--which offer a wide range of hospital-type services without in-patient beds--are gaining in popularity, as are virtual care centers, which enable physicians to oversee patients in multiple locations simultaneously. In fact, some academic medical centers are acquiring local community hospitals to create these types of lower-cost care facilities in response to mounting budget pressures.

TREND #7: Talent shortages persist
In the new healthcare economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects talent shortages in a number of fields resulting from retirements and above-average growth in demand. Over the next seven years, expect to see substantial increases in demand for:
•    Physical therapists: 33,000 positions currently unfilled
•    Medical services managers: 23 percent projected growth
•    Home health aides: 48 percent projected growth
•    Registered nurses: 19 percent projected growth, plus a whopping 525,000 replacements due to retirements
•    Above-average job growth is also expected for occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and other allied professionals

TREND #8: The war on drug prices
The ongoing tug-of-war over prescription drug prices continues unabated as we head into 2016. With consumers increasingly frustrated about high drug prices, federal investigations into drug pricing strategies, and the looming threat of government action to lower prices, we can expect pharmaceutical companies to begin considering new drug pricing models over the coming year.


TREND #9: Alternative payment/reward programs
Consumers will begin to see alternative payment models that give them the convenience and value they want. Look for payment of expensive drugs to be financed over time, or healthcare spending that is linked to discount/reward programs like those used by frequent fliers.

TREND #10: Biosimilar drugs emerge
Another tactic to counter escalating drug prices will be the introduction of biosimilar drugs that are derived from living organisms that are similar, though not identical, to a reference product. Biosimilars are not simply generic versions of biologics, so they require separate marketing approval upon patent expiration of the reference product. Biosimilar drugs will reach the U.S. market in 2016 and are discounted relative to biologic specialty drugs. The FDA is poised to approve four biosimilar drugs, with another 50 under review.

TREND #11: Healthcare hookups
The persistence of cheap capital, coupled with the domino effect from prior years of industry mergers and acquisitions, means consolidations should continue in 2016. While regulators debate how consolidation impacts consumers, expect to see more unconventional partnerships blossom across the industry as competition intensifies. And, because it’s an election year, any maneuvers in this area are likely to become highly politicized.

TREND #12: Data security takes center stage
With recent insurance company hacks affecting hundreds of millions of customers, and more patients using mobile health apps and diagnostic tools on a daily basis, data security continues to be one of the highest concerns for all healthcare stakeholders. The recent security breaches illustrate that organizations unprepared to deal with cyber attacks can face lawsuits, lost revenue and damaged reputations.

In addition to traditional computer systems and networks, connected medical devices also remain vulnerable to cyber attacks. For instance, remote-controlled insulin pumps can be hacked, presenting a life-or-death circumstance for patients. In response to these types of risk, consumers and regulators are demanding greater transparency about network security from providers, insurers and pharmaceutical companies. And providers are creating new firewalls and separate secure networks to address concerns.

Resources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The recruiters at Club Staffing are well informed about emerging trends in healthcare staffing. Contact a recruiter today to find out how our experience and insight can help your allied healthcare career in 2016.

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