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Phil's predictions for 2013

by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO | December 26, 2012
For the new year, I sat down and thought about what next year might hold for some areas of imaging and health care. Here's a list of my predictions for 2013 in no particular order.

1.) First of all, I believe there will be consolidation in the health IT space. Some companies will dominate and some will be absorbed, others will go out of business.

2.) There will be some third party consolidation and third party closures. Certainly the beneficiary of that will be the OEMs.

3.) Furthermore, hospitals will make it a priority to save on their maintenance costs.

4.) More private imaging centers and non-hospital based imaging companies that have survived will prosper because they have already cut away the fat. When reimbursements go down further and everyone has to tighten their belts, they will be in a better position having operated efficiently all along.

5.) The VA health system will come under greater scrutiny.

6.) I don't believe that equipment manufacturing in emerging markets will gain a big foothold in 2013 unless it's equipment manufactured abroad by major OEMs because people won't want to risk making a mistake just to save money. No one can afford to make mistakes.

7.) There are going to be some major announcements in MR and CT in the third quarter of 2013.

8.) Cancer treatment will grow in India, Russia, Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

9.) Trade shows are going to suffer in 2013, particularly in the United States because it's easier -- and less expensive -- to do research online these days.

10.) As far as used equipment goes, I think that there will be a consolidation in the used equipment space and only the companies that have added value will survive in that space.

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About Phil Jacobus

Phil Jacobus has been involved in health care since 1977, when he visited China to sell equipment. He has done business in 35 countries and still travels extensively. Phil is active in charity, helps rural clinics and always tries to help DOTmed users when he can.

Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.

Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.

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Wayne Webster

Your predictions

January 02, 2013 10:52

I guess will all know if you are correct by the end of 2013. I'll stick around and take a tally.

Predicting cancer treatment will grow in countries like India, Russia and Eastern Europe and Western Asia is a long shot. How little of an increase would you consider significant. Eastern Europe and Western Asia have so many problems that require funding before they attack cancer treatment for the general population. I suspect as you review their capital spending and their funding of treatment we'll see once again that those with capital will pay for their treatment outside of the country and those without resources will be provided insufficient therapies. Eastern European and Asian countries formerly part of the Soviet Union would be better served with improved diets, exercise and smoking cessation programs.

I agree with you on Trade shows. I don't think the drop in RSNA attendance this year was a fluke or caused by the change in how they priced single day admittance. I'm finding that the WEB and especially social media sites are having a large impact and reducing the need to go to expensive trade shows. Unfortunately companies are refusing to accept the change in buying patterns and spending as if this was 1995.

Since our Government has little appetite for reducing spending the VA will once more live with its bloated budget and the delivery of substandard care for some many deserving veterans. Although I don't have the ability to do the actual analysis, I suspect it would be cheaper and clinically better to give veterans a free health care policy upon returning with a disability caused as a part of their service and we'd save trillions and they'd get better and more convenient care. Unfortunately the VA like Social Security is a taboo subject when it comes to spending.

We need consolidation in the Health Care IT space.

I don't agree with number 4. Those still there and operating as imaging centers will be taken over by ACOs. Another 500 are being planned for the next two years. Independent anything will not survive in a geographic area because the ACOs will be so large and operate as an oligopoly they will drive all other business not absorbed out of the neighborhood.

I think the one you missed is with the full implementation of Obamacare prior to 2014, the numbers of newly covered patients will swell the ranks and affect the delivery of service. There will be a new demand for more doctors and assistants without the commensurate increase in funding to pay. States will bankrupt their Medicaid programs and Medicare will pass more authority for approvals to the local Medicare carrier. In other words, Medicare by default will reduce reimbursement and Medicaid will be handed over to the FEDS.

Happy New Year
Wayne Webster

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