Challenges Facing Healthcare Leaders in the U.S. and Globally


To provide an overview of the biggest challenges facing healthcare leaders today in the U.S. and globally, including why these challenges matter and their impact to the healthcare industry. This will provide content on thought leadership topics or content pillars that demonstrate expertise and innovation in the healthcare space.

Early Findings

Some of the challenges that healthcare leaders have to contend with include:

Workforce Management

  • The challenges in workforce for healthcare leaders include how to attract and retain skilled and qualified workers, and management of the rising labor costs.
  • A shortage of health workers is pervasive across most countries in the world. Studies show that "only half of all countries have the requisite health workforce required to deliver quality healthcare services, critical to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC)." To illustrate this, the U.S. requires 1 million nurses by 2020, and will have 2.3 million new job vacancies in healthcare by 2026; Japan requires 2.5 million nurses by 2025; and India faces a shortage of over 3.9 million doctors and nurses.
  • In addition, there is an unmet need, globally, for "upskilling and reskilling of healthcare professionals that new disease patterns and emerging technology in healthcare continuously demand."

Regulation and Policy

  • In the U.S., not only have healthcare leaders had to grapple with the uncertainty of repealment and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, they presently also have to deal with compliance of a "variety of newly revised standards including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)."
  • On taxation, healthcare leaders in the U.S. have to consider how to "restructure their businesses to accommodate new rules on unrelated business taxable income (UBTI); assess how taxes and refunds could affect their Medical Loss Ratios; and restructure their supply chains to accommodate a new territorial tax system and emerging trade uncertainties."

Competition from Disruptors

  • Globally, healthcare leaders have to deal with the continuous entry of large technology companies, retailers, and startups in to the healthcare industry intending to disrupt incumbents.
  • Although most of the disruptions have been on the periphery of health service such as making data more liquid, analyzable, and shareable, there have been successful forays into the industry's core service of care delivery and patient engagement strategies.
  • For example, in the U.S., Walmart opened a stand-alone primary care clinic.

Summary of Findings

During our preliminary research, we determined that information on challenges facing leaders in the healthcare industry globally and in the U.S. is readily available.

Proposed next steps:

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