EmCare’s President Offers His Five Predictions for 2016

Posted on Thu, Dec 10, 2015
EmCare’s President Offers His Five Predictions for 2016

As an election year with the White House still up for grabs, 2016 will likely be less than predictable. However, for Ray Iannaccone, MD, FACEP, FACHE, EmCare’s president, trends in healthcare are a bit easier to predict than the fate of the Oval Office.

  1. The healthcare industry will continue to consolidate. As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Dr. Iannaccone says hospitals, systems, payors and physician groups will continue to merge to be more financially stable By the end of 2015, Levin Associates predicts the industry will have seen more than 1,312 M&As, surpassing the number of deals in 2014, which had been a landmark year for activity – until now.

  2. The number of employed physicians will rise. Physicians will continue to abandon private practice by joining large physician groups, small local groups or hospitals, predicts Dr. Iannaccone. The need for information technology upgrades, data analysis reporting and relationship building, coupled with the growing need for compassionate end-of-life care, will continue to place stress on private practitioners who often lack the resources necessary to deliver these services. In fact, more than 200,000 physicians in the U.S. are employed, and 75% of medical residents plan to begin their careers as employees of a medical group, hospital or faculty plan, according to the Medscape Employed Doctors Report 2014.

  3. Providers will continue to strive to move the needle on quality. Clinicians and hospitals will continue to pursue solutions to providing higher quality care with increased efficiency. Dr. Iannaccone said that key to this effort will be team-based care, where  physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, technicians, therapists, scribes and other practitioners work together to deliver care.

  4. Expect to see more investment in information technology. “Hospitals and physician practices have been saddled over the last five years with the burden of implementing EMRs, but those investments did little to improve quality and they hurt efficiency,” explains Dr. Iannaccone. “With Meaningful Use in the rearview mirror, providers will invest in ways to modify, enhance and integrate information technology to truly affect change.” A recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, “Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2016,” confirms Dr. Iannaccone’s predictions.

  5. Physician engagement will enable new physicians to better commit to work-life balance. “Engagement” may be the latest addition to your department’s buzzwords, but it’s a term that’s here to stay. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “emotional involvement or commitment,” an organization must strive to engage its physicians and non-clinical staff. Only in this way will they be positioned to deliver quality results and compete for the best providers, according to Dr. Iannaccone. “Our workforce is changing. Millennials want to have a say in how care is delivered and policies are developed – and all clinicians should,” explained Dr. Iannaccone. EmCare has taken significant steps to improve the ability of its physicians to contribute to the practice and have input on policies. As a physician-led organization, with Dr. Iannaccone in the president’s role, it recently developed the EmCare Partners Group (EPG) division, which seeks to create a practice culture akin to a physician partnership. "Through our EPG division, we’re piloting ways to provide greater opportunities for clinicians to contribute to the direction of the division in particular and EmCare’s clinical practice in a broader sense,” said Dr. Iannaccone. “I’m excited to see how we can integrate the ‘principles of partnership’ throughout the organization.”

And regarding the election in November, Dr. Iannaccone doesn’t see a repeal of the ACA as a possibility: “The ACA may be imperfect, but our country and our healthcare facilities have invested too much time and too many resources to turn back now. Provisions of the act, however, will continue to be tweaked to more accurately reflect what healthcare is, should be and can be for Americans.”

Ray Iannaccone

Ray Iannaccone, MD, FACEP, FACHE, President, joined EmCare when it joined forces with Emergency Medical Associates (EMA) in 2015. Dr. Iannaccone had been the President and CEO of EMA since 2008.

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