“As part of the deal, pharmaceutical companies should offer their products at reasonable prices,” she said. He explained that vertical approaches to disease control need to be aligned and integrated with primary health care. Connected care, upskilled workers, tax reform, a Southwest Airlines approach, private equity and the Affordable Care Act all will impact healthcare organizations in 2019, a new PwC report says. Government scrutiny of drug prices is expected to continue, the report predicted. Two years into the Trump administration, the Affordable Care Act remains law, but Republican lawmakers and the administration have reshaped parts of it through legislative, regulatory, budgetary and legal actions, the report noted. Organizations can spend their tax savings in different ways, including reinvestment, acquisitions and stock buybacks, the report said. “It will be the most significant political meeting held on UHC to date, and will result in a Political Declaration on UHC, negotiated by Member States and endorsed by Heads of State. [See what PwC said last year would be the 12 issues that define healthcare in 2018]. This follows from the 2018 Astana Declaration [pdf] made at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care, which affirmed that primary health care “is a cornerstone of a sustainable health system for universal health coverage (UHC) and health-related Sustainable Development Goals.” Investments in quality primary health care are also considered by the WHO as the “most efficient and cost effective way to achieve universal health coverage around the world.”. PwC identified three major implications of the significant tax changes. PwC identified three implications of the need for new, upskilled healthcare workers. And third, life sciences organizations should explore partnership models focused on demonstrating results. This gives companies time to fully understand and analyze their business, partners and supply chains.". An example is the fight against malaria, where there has been backsliding on progress over the past decade in some high-burden countries, according to the World Malaria Report 2018. “Financing has always been the big Achilles heel of the NCD response,” she said. Six in 10 pharmaceutical executives surveyed by Health Research Institute said their workforce has the skills needed for an evolving digital economy. Every contribution - big or small - helps us sustain our reporting for the benefit of all. The U.S. healthcare industry is looking less like a special case, a large segment of the U.S. economy with its own unique quirks, and is beginning to behave like other industries, according to "Top health industry issues of 2019: The New Health Economy comes of age," the 13th annual healthcare report from consulting giant PwC. "Digital therapeutics and connected devices may make it easier to construct value-based contracts and other outcomes-based financial models with payers and providers to drive adoption," PwC stated. "These investments could create two types of competitive advantages: A better skilled workforce, and a workforce that is less likely to leave," PwC predicted. "Anticipating less robust coverage on individual and non-group markets due to the greater availability of insurance plans that don't conform to ACA regulations, providers and payers should develop plans for triaging patients and members to lower-cost care options, including telehealth or in-home nurse visits," PwC said. As megadeals complete, newly consolidated entities should consider shedding noncore assets, with private equity as a potential buyer, the report said. “The fact that less than 2% of $22 billion of development assistance for health is currently going to NCDs, despite the burden in low and middle-income countries, is a huge paradox really.”, With this shift towards a more integrated UHC agenda, some experts stress that large global health funders should not reduce their efforts. Universal Health Coverage; Primary Health Care; Health Systems Strengthening; Health Financing In 2019, new entrants and biopharmaceutical and medical device companies will bring to market new digital therapies and connected health services that can help patients make behavioral changes, give providers real-time therapeutic insights, and give insurers and employers new tools to more effectively manage beneficiaries' health, the PwC report said. According to experts, an interesting dynamic to look out for in 2019 is how disease control funders will contribute to UHC, as this would signify an important paradigm shift – one that is in line with WHO objectives as well as country priorities. While experts agree that there is a need for increased external aid, they also agree on the even more critical need to mobilize and use government resources more effectively. According to a recent WHO report Public Spending on Health: A Closer Look at Global Trends [pdf], high amounts of external aid provided for health corresponds with reduced domestic funding for health. The healthcare industry will begin to feel substantial effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2019, the report predicted. Second, healthcare organizations should consider partnerships to deliver lower-cost, high-quality care. Practical. "It could build on existing patient support programs to tackle social and lifestyle barriers to patient adherence.". How they spend that money will affect the public's perception of them, according to respondents to a Health Research Institute survey. To Fight Ebola Virus, Researchers Turn to Survivors' Blood; Wednesday, November 20, 2019. "Some healthcare organizations will have access to a substantial amount of capital to help them gain a competitive advantage," PwC noted. "They also have varying health needs and preferences that should be considered when creating these value lines," PwC stated. While upskilling an employee may take time, companies that invest in making employees digitally fit should be ready for the technological challenges of tomorrow and beyond, the report advised. Jagoe highlighted seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), as one initiative that shows particular promise as a preventative measure in the fight against malaria, which among other initiatives, he said, will be strengthened through integration. Opioid epidemic. Apart from cancer drugs, the Medicines Patent Pool has made progress in licensing drugs for HIV and Hepatitis C, among others, for generic production and distribution in low and some middle-income countries. Such partnerships would let Redirect Health manage those patients' ongoing care and avoid unnecessary, pricey emergency room visits that often go unpaid or under-reimbursed, so that hospitals can concentrate on where they are needed most.". First, healthcare organizations should recognize that the market is ripe for divestitures. Consumers with high-deductible health plans, Medicaid consumers and those without insurance all have varying needs for value lines, the report said. As digital therapeutics and connected devices have transitioned from concept to reality, investors have poured $12.5 billion into digital health ventures in 2017 and 2018, PwC reported. “It’s very difficult to say we need universal health coverage, and to not have a mechanism to make sure that the health expenditure fits within the budget that countries can make available.”. In addition, other provisions of the law could negatively affect payers, providers and life sciences companies, the report said. Companies could choose to hire external talent, but that strategy presents significant challenges: Thirty-five percent of the skills workers will need will change by 2020, and the required skills will continue to evolve, according to the World Economic Forum. Experts warned that this dynamic must be considered when balancing the provision of external funding with the aim of strengthening national health systems. “The opportunity of such a big resolution in September is also an opportunity for us as a [global health] community to do a bit of taking stock and self-reflection, and then to galvanize ourselves and create momentum across these health challenges,” Ed Whiting, director of policy and chief of staff at Wellcome Trust, told Health Policy Watch. Private equity: Healthcare's new growth accelerator. Certainly some of the big issues on the agenda in 2019 might suggest that we are at a crossroads. “Are we thinking holistically enough about what it means to fight this disease?”. While still some months away, the United Nations General Assembly meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), planned for 23 September, is expected to be a peak moment for this initiative, which has been championed by the World Health Organization’s new Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Gheyebresus. Forty-two percent of US workers surveyed by PwC said they agreed or strongly agreed that automation would put jobs at risk of elimination.