2021 Healthcare Predictions

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One thing has been consistent during 2020 – change…and healthcare has had its fair share. What does that mean for healthcare in 2021? More change! Beyond that, here are my thoughts on what’s to come and how healthcare organizations will adapt in the coming year.


Cost control will be paramount in 2021, and Activity-Based Cost Accounting will be business critical in a post-COVID world

Nothing will be more important to healthcare organizations than controlling costs, and businesses will turn to Activity-Based Cost Accounting in order to survive in a post pandemic world. Traditional methods divide costs into product and period costs, resulting in arbitrary allocations. Activity-Based Cost Accounting places a greater emphasis and focuses on true costs that allow for a greater understanding of pricing strategies. This is especially important in value-based contracts. Looking ahead, healthcare organizations that adopt this method will have a better awareness of all costs associated with their services. As we see several trends hurting providers’ bottom lines-like lower reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid-we will see organizations using Activity-Based Cost Accounting to react more quickly, and with a better understanding of the rapidly changing market conditions. 


Healthcare will adopt a Doordash model for delivery of their services; whether these “Hospital at Home” healthcare organizations will succeed depends on how they get paid-and from whom

Today’s consumer demands have dramatically changed since the start of the pandemic. With many Americans expressing concerns about conducting their normal day-to-day activities in-person, companies like Doordash have capitalized on the demands of this new consumer behavior. The company has met the expectations of wanting safe and convenient delivery – on the consumer’s terms. For healthcare providers to also meet these new consumer demands, they will need to adopt a model like Doordash. Over the past few years, healthcare delivery has not evolved past telemedicine because they have been tied to fixed healthcare delivery sites (hospitals, clinics, etc.). 2021 will be the year healthcare services integrate the delivery model and provide convenient, timely, at home services for consumer. Additionally, who will pay for services in these new models-and how-will become increasingly complex. These new business models will require the ability to adapt to new payment models like direct from consumer, employer and insurer to ensure success.


HIPAA and security breaches will become a greater issue for healthcare organizations

Globally, healthcare is the most targeted sector for phishing and malware attacks. As we look ahead to 2021, and as working from home continues to be the new normal, healthcare organizations will face more breaches from ransomware attacks. While employees and their information were once safely behind the office firewall and out of view of their family members, patients’ confidential health information is at a greater risk because attackers now have access to makeshift at-home workstations and in-home Wi-Fi, mobile devices and the wandering eye of a curious roommate or family member. And financial applications are not immune, as healthcare organizations continue to bring in protected health information (PHI) such as patient names, addresses and billing data for refunds, ancillary services, etc. As we enter the new year, we will see more companies implement new processes and procedures to help keep patient’s health information secure, including audit trails that show who accessed what information and when.


What are your 2021 predictions? Let me know at brian.bogie@sage.com and I’ll update the list with your thoughts in a future version.

Brian Bogie

Brian Bogie

Brian is the Director of Healthcare Industry Marketing at Sage Intacct