JANUARY 2018 – Costs pressures, new technologies and changing consumer expectations are shaping the delivery of health care in Canada, and proof of value is increasingly the touchstone for decision-making, summarized Catherine Hunter, Partner at PwC Canada and leader of its Health Services Consulting Practice, at the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Pharmacy Forum in November 2017.
Hunter highlighted numerous emerging trends, drawing from research conducted by PwC and others. Among them:
- More public- and private-sector collaborations to drive innovation and new business models. For example, federal funding of innovation “clusters” or “hubs” (such as Canada’s AGE-WELL technology and aging network).
- A growing readiness among consumers to access health care from a team of healthcare professionals that extends well beyond physicians.
- Consumers also increasingly desire options for virtual health care. “Through our day-to-day interactions with technology, we’re prepared to access health care in this way as well,” noted Hunter.
- Globally, public payers are putting more focus on value and the rewarding of positive outcomes.
- The “democratization” of health care to improve accessibility. For example, insurance carriers in Canada have launched their own telehealth services for clients’ plan members.
“Consumers are willing to receive health care in new ways,” asserted Hunter. “Pharmacists have the opportunity to be a key delivery mechanism [for healthcare services].” And payers’ growing desire for proof of value—and a budding willingness to incentivize positive outcomes—could bode well for the profession when one considers the many services of value already provided by pharmacists, which are not recognized or reimbursed.