Feb 29, 2024

This corner of the bracket traditionally includes broad macrotrends that impact the industry across the entire ecosystem. Last year, the number one seed in this region – Cost Cutting Strategies – went all the way and bested Primary Care Transformation to become the 2023 Champion.  As an illustration of just how wild a ride the healthcare industry continues to endure, only one player in this region is returning from any previous competition, and the 2023 Champ didn’t even make it into the 2024 tournament. 

As an illustration of just how wild a ride the healthcare industry continues to endure, the 2023 Champ (Cost Cutting Strategies) didn’t even make it into the 2024 tournament. 

This year’s number one seed in Healthcare Landscape – Influence on the Presidential Election – is a tournament wild card due to 2024 being an election year. It will be fascinating to see just how much impact our Selection Committee thinks an election year, with all its noise and headline-grabbing, will have on the healthcare industry.

Watch the tournament unfold weekly on our LinkedIn page, where you can join the discussion too!


Influence on the Presidential Election vs. Lasting Effects of GLP1s

Influence on the Presidential Election has been seeded number one, no doubt due to the monumental airtime and print devoted to the candidates in continuous news media commentary. As the candidates flesh out their platforms, voters will want to know how they stand on healthcare issues such as affordability, access to mental health, and reproductive rights. However, this trend is going up against another darling of the 24-hour news cycle: Lasting Effects of GLP1s. Making its debut as an eight seed, this player has catapulted into the dance in large part due to the ability of this class of drugs to significantly help people lose weight and avoid metabolic and obesity-related diseases. Even though it’s a newcomer, it has entered the scene stronger and faster than any trend we’ve seen in a while.  

Pursuit of Vertical Integration vs. Achieving the Payer Mega-Merger

Our number two seed, Pursuit of Vertical Integration, represents a trend that has competed in the last two tournaments – and is the only repeat contender in this region. In its third appearance, this trend is focused on the pursuit of payers to own a diversified set of care delivery assets and the pursuit of providers of more exclusive partnerships with health plans. This trend takes on number seven seed Achieving the Payer Mega-Merger, a prediction that 2024 will see payers make major moves to capture greater scale across a larger membership base. 

Growing Cross-Market Mergers vs. Monitoring the HATCo Effect 

Mergers are a theme in this region, with the next contest bringing together Growing Cross-Market Mergers (3) and Monitoring the HATCo Effect (6). To generate significant cost savings, there likely will be more cross-market mergers between health systems, despite a growing body of evidence suggesting that those savings come at the expense of patients. Taking on that trend is the industry effect of the proposed takeover of not-for-profit Summa Health by venture capital firm General Catalyst’s Health Assurance Transformation Corp. (HATCo) in a move that is stirring both hope and fear among stakeholders.

VBC Push from Risant Health vs. Proving VBC Enablement.

In the final bout, we have a clash of Value-Based Care (VBC) trends: Fourth-seeded VBC Push from Risant Health takes on fifth-seeded Proving VBC Enablement. As VBC continues to put down industry roots, a variety of entities are seeking to convert VBC support and enthusiasm into economic models. If a proposed deal goes forward, Geisinger will join Risant Health, a new nonprofit formed by Kaiser Foundation Hospitals with an emphasis on VBC, indicating that VBC will be core to the future of healthcare delivery. Regarding VBC enablement, the market is reaching a saturation point. This could be the year that separates proven models and scalable solutions from platforms that prioritize sales and growth over efficacy and outcomes. 

Follow the 2024 March Healthcare Classic for more… 

Read about the trends in the other three regions: Delivery, Payment, and Technology.

What trends do you think are leading the pack? 

Join the conversation on LinkedIn and make your predictions by March 13.

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