Annual Healthcare Prediction Survey Report: 2017
By Charu Gupta

InCrowd conducted its annual 3-minute microsurvey on 2017 predictions for the healthcare industry with 150 physicians nationwide, that fielded on December 4, 2016.

While high drug prices were again a big theme, this year’s answers were informed by President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises and transition actions, with many responses citing the President-Elect directly.

Trump recently told TIME Magazine, “I’m going to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what’s happened with drug prices.” On the campaign trail, he said Medicare should be required to negotiate with drug companies to lower costs.

When physicians were asked what changes they would like to see in the pharmaceutical industry, 54% expressed the need for lowered drug prices. However only 4% of physicians specifically mentioned Medicare pricing negotiations. One doctor said, “Would like Medicare to negotiate drug prices, want prices for medications to actually be priced fairly, government involvement in price control.”

Another said, “More support for patients with high copays. Collaboration with insurers to bring down cost of meds.”

Of note, our recent medication adherence survey of 270 physicians found that a large number of physicians are unaware of how pharma-supported programs could help offset drug costs and contribute to greater adherence.

Much like the country doctors are divided on their views for the coming year:

  • A majority of physicians’ wish lists (54%) asked for lower drug prices.
  • 46% stated lower drug prices as the most critical to address in order to meet the demands of our changing society.
  • 30% of physicians expect the costs of healthcare to improve under the new presidential administration, while 70% believe that is unlikely to happen.
  • Twenty-two percent expect there will be price hikes for pharmaceuticals in 2017.

Comparison of these results to our 2016 prediction survey data found that the most frequent response — that there would be no change at all— went from 27 percent last year to 42 percent this year.

In light of recent comments by Trump, doctors were more hopeful that certain parts of the healthcare law would remain, like coverage for pre-existing conditions (55%) and allowances for children under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance (53%). Reflecting the sense of national division defining the recent election, physicians’ view of the coming year is ambivalent—not reflecting strong position for any issue.

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