Even though the growth of healthcare spending has slowed in recent years, the cost of healthcare continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing business and consumers, so expect to see insurers continue to push for cost savings and greater use of value-based healthcare in 2018.

Writing for the website Healthcaredive.com, Les Masterson says, “Payers have ratcheted down hospital payments by creating policies with an eye toward providing care at less-costly locations, designing health plans that put more healthcare utilization costs on members and by replacing fee-for-service payments with value-based contracts. Providers have also teamed up with insurers in partnerships that look to offer better outcomes.”

Consumers will also demand more transparency in healthcare pricing. Payers, meanwhile, will encourage greater use of virtual and out-patient treatments and seek to form partnerships with providers.

To prepare, hospitals and providers are encouraged to strengthen the acute care systems and think of overall patient conditions, episodes and needs.

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