From AI to Ambulatory Care: Healthcare Insights - J. P. Morgan Conference 2024

Digital Health, finance, and talent acquisition lead the conversation in healthcare insights and future trends reports from industry leaders. 

Digital Health, finance, and talent acquisition lead the conversation in healthcare insights and future trends reports from industry leaders. 

Digital Health, finance, and talent acquisition lead the conversation in healthcare insights and future trends reports from industry leaders. Learn more on the current state of the industry from Furst Group Principal, Tim Frischmon.

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The 42nd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference recently concluded, leaving us with significant healthcare insights to reflect on. I had the privilege to engage with healthcare industry leaders, discussing not only the current state of the industry but also the challenges they face in the acquisition and retention of top talent. From these valuable conversations, several themes emerged.  

Healthcare Industry Insights 

The following details current and future trends in healthcare and valuable healthcare insights from this year’s conference. Use this as a guide to keep you informed and help navigate your continued organizational success into 2024 and beyond.

Three current trends in healthcare  

1. Financial Strain Persists

While many have reported improved financial results in 2023, financial strain and challenges persist for all healthcare industry sectors, and efforts to diversify revenue are underway. 

  • Health systems are looking at M&A, operational shifts, and redesigning operating models to continue leveraging scale and to address continued reimbursement pressures by payers.  
  • Ambulatory and physician practice expansion are seen by many to be significant solutions for managing costs. Innovative operational models are emerging to address, capture, and enhance the physician-patient relationship while also aiming to better manage clinical costs.  
The high cost of capital for continued growth puts pressure on valuations and the ability to maintain and execute solid growth strategies. Those with cash are looking to take advantage of deals that may be accretive investments for target companies strained for capital.

2. Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage continues to experience growth through payers while CMS STARS and coding changes are impacting reimbursement. Hospitals and health systems whose cost structures are built around reliance on commercial reimbursement are feeling significant pressure from the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare growth. The implications of this growth are far-reaching as labor and operating costs continue to increase and increased payer pressure on reimbursement, which will only heighten the levels of provider and payer disagreements. 

3. AI & Digital Health

As you would imagine, many are enamored with early examples and ideas, with several mentions of using AI to enhance diagnostic accuracy and streamline processes. Some more innovative ideas were generative AI in applications focused on improving engagement rates, incorporating large-language models, and utilizing algorithms during patient encounters. However, many were worried about the unknown and implications around staffing, highlighting the need to pilot programs. Overall, many were excited to explore AI technology, but concerns around the proliferation of these new technologies were paired with strong FOMO in nearly all discussions on the matter.  

Future Trends in Healthcare 

Considering the state of the industry and emerging healthcare trends for 2024 and beyond, healthcare executives continue to lead through tremendous ambiguity, increasing wage pressures and staff shortages, and reimbursement tightening. Yet leaders continue to share that they are hopeful (even energized) despite an unknown and challenging future.   

Healthcare Leadership Insights  

In a recent survey, we reached out to thousands of healthcare leaders, asking them to reflect on their experiences through the COVID-19 pandemic. The response was resoundingly positive, with leaders highlighting the competencies needed for this new era: 

  • Confidence leading through uncertainty 
  • Demonstrated resilience and grit required to work through setbacks and push through adversity 
  • Ability to forecast and anticipate the future without losing the ability to execute on the constantly shifting pressures of the day-to-day  

These same competencies that were sharpened working through the pandemic are the must-have competencies leaders need to address and navigate the uncertainties ahead in 2024.

Stay tuned for our next article, where we deep dive into the survey responses and share leadership lessons and tools to help you improve organizational health, team dynamics, resiliency, and more.  

For more information on the state of the industry and future trends in healthcare, follow us on LinkedIn where we share helpful and educational information for executives, Board members, and emerging healthcare leaders.  

Published by Tim Frischmon, Principal