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Mergers, Pricing, and New Technologies: The Top Health Issues of 2016


December 14, 2015.

According to PwC's Health Research Institute (HRI), 2016 will be a year of firsts for players within healthcare as the industry adapts to the main forces driving the New Health Economy: the rise of consumerism, the focus on value, downward pressure on costs, technological innovation and the impact of new entrants. 

PwC's annual report, "Top Health Industry Issues for 2016," shows the top 10 forces expected to have the most impact on the industry in the coming year are spread across three key themes:

  • Innovation: Mobile health technology will play more of a role in diagnosis and treatment, with new high-tech databases allowig industry players "to analyze data from many sources in novel ways, finally unlocking new insights."

  • Access to care: More than half of US counties have no practicing mental health clinicians. Additionally, with mounting budget pressures, care may move to the community as health systems pursue lower-cost care settings more aggressively and creatively than before.  

  • The New Health Economy: Drug pricing will be in the spotlight and "providers may be scrambling to unlock the medical cost mystery and calculate the true cost of services". 2016 should also be a year in which the industry is dramatically reshaped by consolidation, as the insurance market should inch closer to being dominated by three major players. 

"After more than a decade of identifying the top health industry trends, we are finally starting to see the creation of a New Health Economy – a health system that is more connected, transparent and patient-centric," said Kelly Barnes, PwC's US health industries leader.    For more on the PwC report,

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