As a field we are still on the journey from volume to value. The emphasis on the integration of value-based care into payment reform efforts will increasingly affect all stakeholders. It will drive movement toward a common set of metrics that will constitute the value and quality provided. It will require a comprehensive data strategy to assess performance and analyze different risk-sharing models and ultimately move to enhanced models of care.

— MaryJane Wurth, executive vice president, American Hospital Association

The AHA Environmental Scan: Consumers and Patients

  • Diseases from lifestyle-induced conditions take the lives of more than seven in 10 Americans, such as Type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, osteoarthritis, heart disease and stroke. Research shows that achieving “six normal” ranges (for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, waist-to-height ratio, stress management, and tobacco toxins) with or without medication, reduces subsequent chronic disease by 80 percent to 90 percent over 10- to 30-year periods.  If only 65 percent of individuals achieved the six normals, the nation would save well over $600 billion in health care spending per year. Currently, only 3 percent to 4 percent of the U.S. population entering Medicare meets those levels.
  • Between 1974 and 2014, the number of Type 2 diabetics in the United States increased from 3.2 million to 29 million.  Diabetes care now represents nearly 10 percent of health care expenditures — and between 1.5 percent and 2 percent of the gross national product.  Experts predict that by 2050, 120 million to 180 million Americans will have diabetes ­— a six- to tenfold increase in the U.S. population.1
  • A study showed that providing patients with enhanced support regarding their treatment options via health coaches resulted in lower hospital admissions and fewer surgeries in preference-sensitive conditions. Health-system pharmacists who responded to the survey (82 percent) think that it is likely that 25 percent of hospital outpatients will forgo treatment with high-cost medications when weighing the benefits, risks and costs.2
  • More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds said they would use a service that helped plan for medical expenses, according to a 2015 Health Research Institute survey. Increasingly, financial advisers are answering that call. Guiding consumer decisions on how best to allocate money, the five largest wealth management firms incorporate health care into long-term financial planning.3
  • According to a Consumer Health Insights survey, consumers want the same qualities in health care companies that they value in non-health care settings. More than half of the survey’s participants cited great customer service as important for non-health care and health care companies alike.4

2017 AHA Environmental Scan

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


  1. “FutureScan 2016-2021, Healthcare Trends and Implications,” American Hospital Association Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development and American College of Healthcare Executives, with support from Evariant.
  2. “Pharmacy Forecast 2016-2020,” ASHP Foundation, December 2015.
  3. “Top Health Industry Issues of 2016: Thriving in the New Health Economy,” Health Research Institute, PricewaterhouseCoopers, December 2015.
  4. “Debunking Common Myths About Healthcare Consumerism,” Jenny Cordina, Rohit Kumar and Christa Moss, McKinsey & Co., December 2015.