Incremental change in health care delivery and financing is a historic relic. Health care executives no longer have the luxury of watching industry change occur over the course of years and gradually shifting their organizations in response. Now, health care trends and changes are constant and swift. Health care executives must be able to anticipate these shifting industry dynamics, then pivot their organizations quickly to remain successful.

The growing desire by health care executives to anticipate industry trends are reflected in the most popular blog posts on McKesson.com during the first three months of this year. The five most-read blog posts demonstrate a need for health care executives to know health care trends now in order to plan for what's coming in the months, weeks and even days ahead.

Below are summaries of the five of the most-popular blog posts from the first three months of 2016 and links to the original posts:

In “The Outlook for Health Care Business in 2016,” McKesson's editorial staff rounded up 14 health care industry outlooks and predictions from a variety of credible pundits, publications and research organizations. Each prophesized about key developments in the coming year that could have major implications for the business of health care. The common threads running through the outlooks and predictions were the boom in health care consumerism, the need for operational innovation, the growth of value-based delivery models and advances in information and medical technologies.

In “The Top Five Trends That Will Impact Health System Pharmacies in 2016," McKesson's editorial staff identified five potentially game-changing health care trends facing hospital and health system pharmacies in the year ahead. Among them are exponential growth in the specialty drug market and the expectation that institutional pharmacies evolve from cost centers to revenue centers.

In “Planning for Future Pharmacy Growth,” McKesson's editorial staff profiled through video and text the need for Ahold USA to position its nearly 600 retail pharmacies, operated through its supermarket brands, for a future dominated by value-driven care. Central to that positioning was leveraging new technologies to provide actionable information to pharmacists, giving them the tools they need to improve the health status of customers and patients as well as the business health of their individual stores.

In “Realizing the Potential of Medicare's Chronic Care Management Program,” McKesson's editorial staff interviewed Jeb Dunkelberger, vice president of accountable care service and corporate partnerships for McKesson's Business Performance Services division, about Medicare's chronic care management services program. The year-old program pays physicians separately for “virtually” coordinating the care of patients with multiple chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and hypertension. Dunkelberger explained how participating in the program now will prepare medical practices for a future in which they'll be reimbursed for keeping patients with chronic diseases as healthy as possible rather than for simply treating the symptoms of their illnesses.

And in “How to Manage Indigent Care Reimbursement,” McKesson's Andrew Wilson explained how hospitals could pursue three operational strategies in anticipation of the growing demands -- and regulatory oversight -- of their 340B discount drug programs. “The 340B drug discount program is complex and ever-changing,” Wilson said. “Technology is critical, but beyond technology, a successful 340B program requires organizational alignment, monitoring, and communication.”

Each of the five most-read blog posts on McKesson.com from the first three months of this year identified one or more health care industry trends facing organizations in the near future. Health care executives want to anticipate these shifting industry dynamics to best position their organizations, patients and customers for success.

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About the author

McKesson editorial staff is committed to offering innovative approaches and insights so that our customers can get the most out of the health care solutions they have and identify areas for operational improvement, revenue growth and improved patient satisfaction. If you have a suggestion for a blog topic you’d like to see covered, let us know in the comments.