Convergence of the health industry

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to define the roles of the key health industry constituents ‐ patients, employers, health insurers, hospitals, physicians, Government, pharmaceutical companies and other industry suppliers, plagued with the decline of the health status and affordability in the USA. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Reviews literature to back up the author's views. Findings ‐ As health-care demands increase and the constituent roles blur, the industry will experience a gradual convergence. Convergence will redefine and create overlap in the boundaries between the traditional health industry suppliers and in the end this convergence will reshape the future of the health industry. Originality/value ‐ Predicts that the drivers of change ‐ deteriorating public health, poor quality and safety, and unaffordable health care ‐ will continue to accelerate. Convergence will be gradual and the impact may not be immediately obvious, but the long-term outcome will dramatically reshape the industry. For the major suppliers in the industry, recognizing convergence is only the first step. Navigating convergence so the decisions made by an organization are both productive and profitable, rather than debilitating, is a far more complicated endeavor. The decisions made will not only affect the future of each supplier but also significantly impact the constituent at the center of this industry ‐ the patient.

Keywords: Economic processes; Health services; Public health; Quality management; Safety; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13660750510578402

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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