We know change is constant in health care. What is stable is the common vision shared by hospitals and health systems of a society of healthy communities where every individual can reach his or her highest potential for health. To meet this commitment, hospitals are redefining the blue and white “H” in different ways that are right for their communities and the patients they serve.

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This Environmental Scan is intended to provide you with insights into the trends that will shape your strategies moving forward.

Hospitals and health systems are focused on the unique health needs of their communities. They are developing new, convenient models of primary care; aligning with physicians and other team-based health professionals to coordinate care; and offering new technologies and methods to improve communication and engagement with patients.

Regardless of the path taken, there are significant shifts propelling all hospitals’ journeys to advance health. Some of the major driving forces that span many of these trends are:

  • Affordability
  • Coverage gaps
  • Consumerism
  • Holistic focus on health
  • Payment for value
  • New technologies
  • Chronic care management
  • Consolidation
  • Community benefit

As we look to 2017, the political landscape will be shaped by the upcoming elections in November. But no matter who wins the elections, the issues we share will be the same ­­— preserving expansions in coverage, breaking down legal and regulatory barriers for care coordination, expanding information sharing from telemedicine to electronic health records, addressing behavioral health challenges, preventing Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts and eliminating health care disparities, among others.

While hospitals and health systems are meeting the challenge and changing in ways that are right for their communities, the American Hospital Association is also changing to better serve the field. What won’t change is our commitment to a health care system that provides access to every individual in every community to the highest quality and affordable health care system possible. The AHA will pursue this commitment through strategic advocacy and representation, thought-provoking leadership and innovation, knowledge sharing of the world around us and what can be, and serving as a constructive agent of change on this journey.

America’s hospitals and health systems and the AHA stand ready to commit to advancing health in America and fulfill its promise to individuals.

Thanks for all you do for patients and communities.

Rick Pollack

President and CEO

American Hospital Association

2017 AHA Environmental Scan

Download the complete 2017 AHA Environmental Scan PDF sponsored by B. E. Smith.