Skyrocketing Pharmaceutical Prices Are Putting Pressure on Healthcare Industry, According to TD Bank Survey

doctors reviewing a patient's chart

May 01, 2019 - Industry Trends Corporate & Specialty Banking DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

While the high cost of drugs is not a new concern for Washington and the healthcare industry, many organizations are now taking steps to address rising costs and — at the same time — improve the patient experience. Twenty five percent of hospital and health system professionals report they have plans to control pharmaceutical costs this year. These plans include taking advantage of group purchasing organizations, managing medication inventories, exploring the use of alternative medicine and looking for generic options, according to a survey released today by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®. Participants were surveyed at the Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting.

 “A majority of operating expenses stem from the escalating costs of branded pharmaceuticals,” said Emmet Conlon, Head of Institutional Healthcare at TD Bank. “CFOs should work closely with physicians to determine which medications have more affordable generic alternatives. In addition, educational programs can be put in place so physicians can inform patients on the importance of asking for generic versions of branded pharmaceutical drugs that lower costs for the entire healthcare ecosystem."

Financial pressure mounts around insurance changes and reimbursement models

Forty one percent of respondents cited changes to insurance and reimbursement models as their top financial pressures in 2019. In recent years, reimbursement payment models have undergone a transformation and organizations have slowly transitioned to value-based care — a reimbursement methodology that encourages providers to deliver the best quality care at the most reasonable cost. This transition appears to be happening gradually, with 28 percent of respondents currently considering a migration to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Overall, organizations are increasingly wary of how they are reimbursed for care, and 25 percent plan to streamline revenue cycles and improve collection procedures.

Patient experience is a top priority for healthcare organizations

 Businesses today are hyper-focused on improving the customer experience and meeting consumers' needs for immediacy and convenience. As a result, 25 percent of organizations believe their greatest business challenge this year will be addressing these priorities. Thirty five percent of survey respondents plan to add more outpatient services and centers to improve the patient experience.

"Change is happening outside the four walls of the hospital, with a special focus on the patient experience," said Conlon. "Our clients are building and creating ambulatory centers, urgent care centers and more services that offer quicker and easier access to care. They are also improving existing facilities by leveraging technology and updating operating and patient rooms."

Technology investment is high and expected to climb

Technology has brought a massive and welcome change to the healthcare industry. Accordingly, 75 percent of organizations plan to allocate a significant amount of capital to invest in telehealth and virtual health. Remote consultations with specialists, targeted treatments and the availability of mobile applications and video monitoring equipment in patient rooms have led to improved care and patient experience; 30 percent of respondents plan to update their technology systems this year.

TD Bank polled a select group of hospital and health system professionals on their views of challenges and opportunities in the industry at the annual Becker’s Hospital Review Meeting, held April 1-4, 2019, in Chicago. A majority of survey respondents' indicated that the total revenue for their health system and hospital did not exceed $3 billion.  A total of 116 individuals were polled.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® 

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.td.com/us. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com/us.

Media Contact:

Amber Leahy
TD Bank VP, Senior Corporate Communications Manager amber.leahy@td.com
856-505-1169


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