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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

ICYMI: Five must-read healthcare stories from December

We're all crunched for time and that means we might miss some great content from month to month. Here are five articles from December that I found interesting and thought would be valuable to anyone working in healthcare. With all of the merger and acquisition news (and speculation) breaking last month, you'll see that is a major area of focus. As the author of the fourth story below points out, "disruption just got real!"

1. What the CVS-Aetna deal means for the future of health care

Washington Post -Carolyn Y. Johnson

In a month - and year - packed with M&A activity in healthcare, this deal was still a bit of a stunner. As the article points out, this kind of uncharted territory - a pharmacy benefit manager buying a major national health plan - is a sign of more radical change on the way. Read the article here


2. Hospital giants vie for patients in effort to fend off rivals

New York Times - Reed Ableson

Partnerships like the one above (and below) are putting pressure on other systems to join together. The big question is what - if any - benefits patients and consumers will reap from mega-systems. This article explores the likelihood of cost savings and improved care. Read the article here


3. Catholic Hospital Mega-Deals Pressure For-Profits Like Tenet And HCA

Forbes - Bruce Japsen

With most of the M&A activity taking place between not-profit organizations, the country's for-profit systems will have to explore their options to remain competitive. Read the article here


4. 2017, the year that was: 10 things for healthcare executives to note as they head into 2018

Becker’s Hospital Review - Molly Gamble

Sometimes trend lists disappoint, but this one provides useful insights and spells out the ramifications we need to be aware of as the year unfolds. Here is what's covered: Disruption got real. Hospital-insurer negotiations heated up. Activist shareholders shook up legacy hospital operators. Healthcare and the government failed to effectively communicate. These and six other trends that shaped the year in healthcare — and the lessons executives can take from them into 2018. Read the article here


5. Will Gathering Vast Troves of Information Really Lead To Better Health?

NPR - Richard Harris

I thought a good way to close things out would be to focusing on the patients we serve. The industry has made a strong move to embracing data, but it might not be the panacea that we think it is. One Mayo Clinic physician is going against the grain and promoting simplicity. Read the article here


Bonus resource

6. Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Healthcare Strategist Second Edition SHSMD

I'm clearly cheating here as the publication was released by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) at the end of September; however, it really is a must-read for all healthcare marketers, communicators and strategists. The 75-page, in-depth publication evaluates and explores the evolving healthcare landscape and offers useful suggestions for how we can respond. Download the PDF here

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