Commentary

Journey from the Top Four to the Champion

Apr 01, 2022

The Selection Committee narrowed the field from 64 and has selected a 2022 champion! Continue reading to learn more about the semi-finals and the journey to selecting the Top Healthcare Trend of 2022. 

Top Four

The semi-finals shaped up to be an extremely competitive round, with two 1 seeds and two 14 seeds facing off. From the General Trends region, (14) Workforce Challenges competed against (14) Omnichannel Care from the Care Delivery region. (1) Medicare Advantage was the top pick from the Business Model Innovation region and went up against (1) Platform from the Data & Technology Region. 

As (14) Workforce Challenges competed against (14) Omnichannel Care, one Committee Member shared, “If the goal here is to define the most powerful force driving healthcare right now, then I think you have to unfortunately go with Workforce Challenges.” Another Committee Member noted that (14) Workforce Challenges is hopefully just a 2022 trend. “I don’t think they’ll be back in the championship next year, whereas I think Omnichannel Care could be. (Workforce Challenges) may be the Butler Bulldogs of 2009-10.” Despite a closely contested matchup, (14) Workforce Challenges received a unanimous nod from the Selection Committee, securing a spot in the final round. 

On the other side of the bracket, (1) Platform and (1) Medicare Advantage faced off. One Committee Member said, “I’m going with Medicare Advantage. It’s forcing us to think about delivery in a variety of different ways. All the things that are getting spun out of Medicare Advantage in terms of different contracting models and delivery of care – that’s clearly where the industry is going, and I see Medicare Advantage as the catalyst for that.” 

“All the things that are getting spun out of Medicare Advantage in terms of different contracting models and delivery of care – that’s clearly where the industry is going, and I see Medicare Advantage as the catalyst for that.” 

Ultimately, (1) Medicare Advantage received a slam dunk win in the Top Four, receiving all 5 votes from the Selection Committee. 

Final Round

In the final round, (1) Medicare Advantage competed against (14) Workforce Challenges. Ultimately, (14) Workforce Challenges received a unanimous vote from the Selection Committee, earning the title of Top Healthcare Trend of 2022. One Committee Member shared, “As much as I would love to pick Medicare Advantage, after hearing from Human Resource [professionals], I think [Workforce Challenges] needs to be the headline.” The same Committee Member acknowledged, “I think Medicare Advantage would send a better signal for what we’re all about, but workforce is a lot of things.”

“I think [Workforce Challenges] needs to be the headline.

Another Committee Member agreed that it was “a hard match up because everything is happening at once” but ultimately chose (14) Workforce Challenges. Expanding on that decision, the Committee Member said, “This isn’t over yet. Even if we get some reprieve from the virus, we have other issues like inflation. Trying to couple that with management of interest rates and early retirements… It’s kind of this macro trend in workforce challenges. It’s more of a tsunami than Medicare Advantage.” 

Continuing this sentiment, our final Committee Member shared, “It’s a negative trend. The challenges in the workforce are creating headwinds that I think are going to get in the way of creating and meeting consumer needs whether it’s pricing needs or access needs or service needs. I hate to have the finalist in this competition be a negative trend, but there’s no mistaking its impact is unparalleled.” 

“I hate to have the finalist in this competition be a negative trend, but there’s no mistaking its impact is unparalleled.” 

When asked how they view (14) Workforce Challenges faring after this year, several of the Committee Members agreed that it will be a focus for the next two or three years, but hoped that next year brings new solutions to this challenge into the bracket conversation. Considering this prediction, how do you foresee (14) Workforce Challenges impacting the industry for the remainder of 2022?  Which trends will secure a spot in next year’s bracket? Share your thoughts on the 2022 bracket over on LinkedIn

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