What does 2019 look like for the healthcare industry? LBMC conducted a national survey covering business unit leaders in eight industries, including healthcare. The survey is considered a pulse survey, which is opinion based and not scientific in nature. The survey collected responses to determine a baseline of optimism and strategy preferences over the past 12 months and the coming 12 months.

According to the survey, optimism is high overall. More than 90 percent of healthcare leaders anticipate revenue increases in 2019, and about 66 percent report increased capital spending and hiring in 2018.

The 2019 business strategy for healthcare leaders includes both new products and new markets, with 18 percent open to acquisitions and 29 percent anticipating capital spending on new locations or facilities. While 44 percent of leaders plan to improve margins through productivity and efficiency, about 18 percent plan to do so through increased pricing.

Primary goals for IT investment in health care facilities include enhancements to existing systems and focusing on ERP solutions. About 20 percent plan to invest in cloud solutions. Just over 58 percent view technology solutions as a primary way to deal with top business challenges that include regulatory requirements and various labor costs. In fact, inflationary factors related to labor costs are a barrier to growth, and “improving financial performance” is cited by 71 percent of leaders as their top business goal for 2019.

Industry leaders expect to add more staff in 2019, with 26 percent citing too few employees to meet their needs and 35 percent concerned about turnover. They note a range of methods to retain top talent, with the top methods being additional compensation, enhanced training, and new benefits or increased company contributions to benefits.

“The changing insurance reimbursement landscape is one of the top challenges our industry faces.” CFO, Healthcare

While half of healthcare leaders still cite referrals as a primary way they choose products and services, 23 percent say that thought leadership and case studies influence their buying decisions. About 56 percent of healthcare leaders expect to seek financial solutions to solve their top business challenges.

In summary, the pulse survey shows that leaders in the healthcare industry are positive about the upcoming year’s increased revenue through the introduction of new products, expansion into new markets, improved efficiency and increased pricing. Capital spending will continue this year with an emphasis on IT investment and hiring, and keeping top talent will continue to be top of mind. 

Click here to download the full 2019 Business Outlook Business Trends Report.

About the Survey:

The 2018 survey collected responses from 303 business unit leaders, 291 of those through online electronic survey and another 12 responses by third-party phone survey to gather additional detail. Approximately 65 percent of survey respondents were C-suite level leaders ranging from CEO to SVP/VP. About 9 percent were CFOs. Size of company by revenue was split between small and large companies, with about 47 percent listing revenues of less than $5 million, 18 percent at $5-$25 million, 16 percent at $25-$100 million and about 19 percent at more than $100 million. About 59 percent of respondents listed 50 or fewer employees, and 13 percent of companies listed 50 to 99 employees. About 18 percent have between 100 and 999 employees, while 10 percent list 1,000 or more employees. The majority of companies (69 percent) are 2019 Business Outlook Report About the Survey 24 regional, meaning that they have more than one office or geographic area served. About 20 percent of respondents are national, and 11 percent are international. Almost 24 percent of respondents have more than five locations, and 23 percent have two to four locations. Competitor locations were listed as mainly regional or national, with 12 percent listing international competition. Healthcare was the 2nd most reported industry.