Healthcare is this nation’s largest industry, with total expenditures exceeding $2.0 trillion and accounting for approximately 16% of GDP, it is expected to continue to grow faster than national income over the foreseeable future. This is being fueled by an aging population which is the fastest growing demographic group in the U.S., leading the U.S. healthcare system to desperately seek alternative solutions to slow the tide of rising healthcare costs. After spending nearly a decade squeezing costs and inefficiencies from the healthcare system, managed care has clearly demonstrated that this alone cannot provide the long-term panacea many had believed it would.
Looking towards the future, true gains in controlling escalating healthcare expenditures will have to come from developing new business models and cost-effective solutions. These solutions will be provided by major innovations in medical technology, the genomics and stem cell revolution, medical informatics which includes telemedicine, and healthcare services. These, along with a new focus on Health & Wellness initiatives, appear to be the forces that will have the best chance to reduce the growth rate of healthcare expenditures in the U.S.