7 Ways Healthcare Will Surprise You Next Year - Part I

President-elect Obama's campaign used social media and online networking sites/applications to crowdsource support. But community is good for more than spreading a relatively watered down mantra like "change."

Like this year's presidential election, social media and networking sites are breaking down some siloed barriers in the healthcare strata. On Twitter, I chat with docs, nurses, med students, marketers, health executives, entrepreneurs, analysts, etc. Would I ever have the opportunity to find and initiative conversations in the brick-and-mortar delivery world with such a diverse group? Not bloody likely.

So what kinds of things do we, the health-e-nation, talk about online? What visions and missions grab and hold us?

Here's an example: Crowdsourced on Twitter, this week we'll take a look at 7 ways healthcare may surprise you next year in a series of posts.

After I tweeted a link to this McKinsey article, asking for opines on surprises we'd have in healthcare, 5 health tweets answered the call.

These folks are some of the most informed, proactive crowd of prognosticators the world over, so I'd give at least Superbowl-winner type attention to their predictions.

First up in our series is Zane Safrit, who actually gave us a bonus prediction.

Zane thinks healthcare next year will surprise us in these 8 ways:

* More expensive, even more expensive than we project now.

* More people will be uninsured. That's from the economy, it's more expensive and insurance companies will fight to preserve their kingdom.

* The ugly truth will emerge. That will be around either side-effects from drugs barely reviewed, huge ongoing ethical lapses with researchers/doctors/big pharma and their products and relationships or poorly performing hospitals/clinics.

* More openness and transparency. That leads to the previous point. That leads to the insurance companies fighting harder to preserve their oligopoly.

* More participation. More engagement by the consumer in creating OUR healthcare system. That will be seen in more anger and more demands..and more solutions. See above points.

* Huge turmoil by end of the year in the institutions delivering healthcare: FDA, AMA, Big Pharma, Corporate hospitals, Congress. The boil they've created with our permission is being lanced. It'll be messy for awhile.

* Movement towards an universal healthcare system by year's end. Movement. Resignation by opponents. And embrace of mandated health insurance like we have with car insurance.

* Pandemic. There will be some new pandemic, like AIDS/HIV. MRSA may be it. Bird flu isn't it.

That's 8.

Zane Safrit
twitter: zanesafrit

Thanks again Zane for your top 8. Pegging the 'new pandemic' is also interesting because it's part of the GAO's 'hot list' of urgent issues for President-elect Obama's incoming staff - see number 8, preparing for public health emergenciehttp://uspolitics.about.com/b/2008/11/06/throwing-down-the-gauntlet-gao-lists-13-urgent-issues.htms.

Dear readers: You can follow Zane on Twitter here. Zane blogs about healthcare issues every Monday.


Zane Safrit said...

What a surprise and delight. Thank you! Thank you for all that you do to help find a solution for healthcare here in the US and probably around the world.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Zane Safrit said...

Just revisited this post tonight and reviewed my predictions from November...so far, I think, sadly, I'm on track especially with rising costs and an eventual resignation to the need for universal health care.

The big pandemic and the big exposures of conflict of interests among our health care providers...remains. The latter is imminent, I think.