NSI News

Health care reform brings challenges, opportunity

The questions swirling around health care reform haven’t stopped since the legislation passed last month. Unfortunately, the answers are elusive, and will continue to be for some time.

Clearly, the impact on states will be immense. But what that impact looks like and how it will take shape state-by-state is far from certain. State administrators are scrambling. However, that does not mean there won’t be worthy opportunity involved for businesses poised to help with everything from administration IT and disease management to a slew of health care services. In fact, reports indicate optimism in the market related to health care reform.

States will be rethinking everything from State employee and retiree insurance to Medicaid and IT systems that will allow them to deliver the healthcare of the future. Health IT systems may help states determine patterns of use that will present crucial knowledge to determine what the future system will look like. How states respond to the new law and how their delivery systems change will vary.

Here are a few things to consider if companies are hoping to gain business from health care reform:

Realize the process will not be a straightforward march to a clearly defined destination. States and the Federal government will change along the way. Lots of uncertainty and challenges are ahead, but along with those will come opportunity if you’re able to be flexible.
Look to states moving fast with leaders who have a more proactive mindset as potential partners. For example, leaders in Vermont and Massachusetts know the direction they want to take, especially having already undergone their own recent reform, while California officials are still debating. Now is time to build on existing relationships, look at options and explore coalitions, groups and affiliations.
For every win, there will be several losses as businesses attempt to find their way into the health care market. There will be fits and starts.
Business leaders can’t expect state officials to know the answers to all of the health care reform questions or even exactly what they need. But it will be helpful to pay attention to which governors are on board with the mandate and ready to move forward, even if they are unsure of what the future brings.
Review statements governors have made with regard to health care reform for clues about whether they are good partnership candidates. If there’s a lot of questioning in regards to constitutionality coming from the governor’s office, set your sights elsewhere.
There’s a lot we don’t know. But focusing on what we do know and understanding some investments in time and resources may fall short while others yield great payoffs will go far in helping businesses prepare for the potential opportunities that health care reform will present.
NSI is working collaboratively with several companies to share its in-depth understanding of the geopolitical landscape to develop effective, proactive strategic approaches regarding this “perfect storm” of political, economic and public policy issues the public and private sector currently faces.

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For more information, please contact Heather Sabharwal at hsabharwal@kglobal.com or 202-349-7016.