Predictions 2020: Medicare, price transparency, and virtual care take center stage in healthcare

With more volatility expected in 2020, read Forrester's predictions for the US healthcare market, focusing on Medicare For All, the executive order on price transparency, and the growth of virtual care.

Time to refill your prescription: Alexa gets new healthcare skills

What is digital health?

Everything you need to know about the future of healthcare

How and why tech's big players are poised to give the industry its biggest shakeup in decades.

Read More

With $3.8-trillion spent on healthcare in 2019, climbing mortality rates, and unsustainable out-of-pocket costs for consumers, the 2020 election year will have healthcare at center stage. Pundits are already discussing the potential impact of Medicare for All, what happens if the Affordable Care Act falls in the Supreme Court, and how the executive order mandating price transparency will shape the way consumers shop for care.

Considering this volatility, Forrester is making these predictions for the healthcare market in 2020:

  1. Medicare for All will fade away as Medicare Advantage takes center stage. One of the most controversial healthcare initiatives spawning from the Democratic presidential debates -- Medicare for All -- will fail to take hold. Instead, candidates will pivot their proposals toward an expanded role for Medicare Advantage.
  2. One of every 25 outpatient visits will be done virtually. Patient wait times and physician shortages are getting worse. Growth in virtual care adoption will continue its momentum in 2020 and become imperative to the survival of healthcare organizations (HCOs).
  3. For the first time, providers will compete on cost as price transparency is enforced. Negotiated rates are set to be made public in 2020, thanks to an executive order. This sets the stage for a new era of competition among providers and new entrants alike.

As the political dust settles, the direction of HCOs' operating models and growth strategies will become clear. In the meantime, healthcare digital business leaders must plan and remain agile to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

For a full in-depth look at all of our healthcare predictions, check out the full report here. To understand the major dynamics that will impact firms across industries next year, download Forrester's Predictions 2020 guide.

This post was written by Senior Analyst Jeff Becker and originally appeared here.