Top 10 healthcare challenges for 2019

Healthcare executives are facing a heap of challenges as technology speeds along and the industry continues to chug toward a value-based care system. Looking into 2019, executives see a lot of the same top challenges as they did in 2018, but digital healthcare and patient-centered care focused on total health are rising concerns, according to the latest rankings from Healthcare Executive Group, an industry network of executives.

The rankings take the pulse of evolving issues and concerns of executives in the field through an annual forum.

Here are the top 10 challenges for 2019 as identified by HCEG members:

  1. Data & analytics
  2. Total consumer health
  3. Population health services
  4. Value-based payments
  5. The digital healthcare organization
  6. Rising pharmacy costs
  7. External marketing disruption
  8. Operational effectiveness
  9. Opioid management
  10. Cybersecurity

Data and analytics were also in the top spot in 2018, marking the importance of leveraging data to manage health and drive clinical outcomes. Total consumer health, which focuses on improving overall medical, social, finance and environmental well-being of members rose to the No. 2 spot after coming in at fifth in 2018.

Population health services dropped just one slot from 2018 to 2019, and, like total consumer health, focus on a broader range of activities such as chronic care management, clinical integration and addressing barriers to care like social determinants.

Interestingly, cost transparency as a top concern fell off the 2019 list from 2018, though opioid management made its debut on the list. This may be reflective of the changing conversation around drug pricing and the mounting pressure for healthcare stakeholders and policymakers to address the growing opioid crisis.

The rankings were developed in partnership with Change Healthcare and have been published for the last seven years.