This year at RSNA, DOTmed hosted a breakfast and I made some predictions about what I think will be hot topics in 2016.
Here's a little summary. Let's see if you agree.
1. EHR implementation.
God knows this is harder than we thought it would be! A lot of people are going to be pulling their hair out over EHRs in 2016.
2. IPPS (or, Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems).
As CMS seeks new ways to make hospitals more responsible for readmissions, patient safety, and their bottom lines, I think IPPS is going to become an increasingly central part of the conversation.
3. The Affordable Care Act.
You probably think I'm a genius for suggesting that this is going to be a hot topic but you know it's going to be a major point of discussion — the more people that sign up the harder it's going to be to repeal.
In my opinion, CT dose standardization is not
going to be as big of a problem for providers as everyone else seems to think.
Will these exams continue to gain popularity or not? Does it have a real future beyond breast imaging? We will just have to wait and see.
6. Roles evolving.
I think you're going to continue to see more payors becoming providers and more providers becoming payors. It's happening in New York City and other major cities — I'm sure it's coming soon to a city near you if it hasn't already.
7. The medical device tax.
At the breakfast I predicted the repeal of the medical device tax, so I guess I'm 90 percent right on that. Don Bogutski, you owe me a coffee!
8. Mergers and acquisitions.
We're going to see more and more consolidation. It's going to be harder and harder for standalone hospitals to survive and compete, at least that's my prediction
9. Remote monitoring.
Whether it's equipment or patients, remote monitoring is going to lower health care costs, free up physicians, and improve throughput and uptime.
10. Refugee impact.
I predict that the refugee migration and impact on the EU is going to impact the world health care delivery system. Frankly, maybe for the better, as it forces us to be more organized.
11. Urgent care facilities.
More and more urgent care facilities will come online.
12. Proton therapy.
The technology is improving, the costs are coming down, and institutions like the Mayo Clinic are finding new ways to make it economically sustainable. This trend will continue through 2016.
13. App-based ultrasound.
These highly portable systems have so much potential to improve health care delivery in rural areas and developing countries.
14. Medical marijuana.
Another favorite of a few people I know will be the rise in the use of medical marijuana. Laugh it up if you want to, but it's truly changing the country.
15. Concussions in competitive sports.
Keeping our athletes safe without compromising their abilities is a big money conundrum — and one that will increasingly not be ignored.
So those are 15 items that I expect we will be talking about in 2016. Do you think I am correct?
Whatever happens, on behalf of everyone at DOTmed, I'd like to wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2016.
If you keep reading our news, staying informed, and sharing your observations with us, then together we can make it a better year than 2015!
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.