With 16 players eliminated from the field, the matchups have become even more interesting in Round 2. Selection Committee Members are digging in at times, reversing course on others and all around engaging in vigorous verbal combat to determine the most influential healthcare trends for 2023. Top two seeds survived their first rounds in all four regions, setting up some potentially fiery conflicts.

Explore the interactive bracket and watch the tournament unfold weekly on our LinkedIn page, where you can join the discussion too!

Who’s moving on to Round 3? Let’s dig in!

Healthcare Economy Trends

Labor & Workforce Shortages Stomps Private Equity Investment 

The top two seeds in the Healthcare Economy region went head-to-head in this first Round 2 contest – a matchup that surprisingly, turned out to be not much of a game. Labor and Workforce Shortages (2)  made quick work of Private Equity Investment (1) in a 5-0 stomping, with the pressing issues around staffing far outweighing activity in the private equity market.

Cost Cutting Strategies Pummels Reduced Discretionary Spending

Champion-level teams are pulling away from the pack as shown in another 5-0 routing of Reduced Discretionary Spending (6) by Cost Cutting Strategies (4). With the industry in budget crisis mode, Committee Members clearly are indicating that cutting costs will rule the day in 2023 as a major driving trend.

Purchasers Trends

Affordability Defeats Direct Contracting

Having dominated its 2022 rival in Round 1, Affordability (2) stays alive in Round 2 after a minor scuffle in which some Committee Members saw Affordability as the “great equalizer,” while others saw Direct Contracting (1) as the best path to driving down costs. This contest saw two votes switch mid-game, tilting the favor toward Affordability in a final score of 4-1.

Pharmacy and Drug Spending Bests Price Transparency

Pharmacy and Drug Spending (4) came out swinging in this round, ending Price Transparency’s third visit to the tournament with a 5-0 win. While the promises of Price Transparency (6) are glittering, it couldn’t compete with the disruption and potential for change in the pharmacy landscape.

Clinical & Business Model Trends

Vertical Integration Dominates Medicare Advantage 

Vertical Integration (2) wins the day on this top two matchup 4-1, with most Committee Members seeing this trend as a stronger competitor than the beleaguered Medicare Advantage (1), although they conceded that Medicare Advantage remains a powerful force.

Primary Care Transformation Knocks Out Total Cost of Care

After an easy win in Round 1 against Membership Models, Total Cost of Care (3) finds itself going home against the far more influential Primary Care Transformation (4) in a 0-5 loss. This was really no contest for the Committee Members, who agreed that the position of primary care providers is an essential driver in 2023 and beyond.

Digital Tools & Technology Trends

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Beats Clinical Automation 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (1) continues its dominating run in a 4-1 win over Clinical Automation (2), with the promises of artificial intelligence just too much power for the steady but perhaps less inspiring Clinical Automation to handle. 

Cybersecurity Upsets Remote Patient Monitoring 

Cybersecurity (6) stays in the fight, upsetting Remote Patient Monitoring (4) in a 5-0 thrashing as the threat of breaches and hacks overshadows the benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring.

Which trends do you think will shape the industry in 2023? 

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This is commentary from our 2023 March Healthcare Classic. Explore this year’s interactive bracket to see the most impactful healthcare trends face off.