New Survey Highlights Top Health Care Trends for 2012

The PricewaterhouseCooper's Health Research Institute recently released its annual forecast of top health care trends in 2012, along with consumer data from online surveys of 1,000 U.S. adults. Following are forecasts and key consumer findings that could shape next year’s HIT market. 

In light of pressure to wring costs out of the health system, health organizations must demonstrate they are delivering better value; those that don’t will be penalized.

  • Half (52%) of those surveyed indicated they would be interested in a value-​based insurance plan, such as one in which treatments known to be effective would cost little but new treatments with benefits that have not been proven to be effective would cost more.
  • Nearly two-​thirds (65%) of people surveyed believe that health plans should offer a wide range of hospitals, doctors and treatment options to choose from.
  • Yet, nearly half (47%) would rather have a health plan that costs less and offers fewer doctors and hospitals to choose from than a higher cost plan with greater choice.

In 2012, health organizations will invest considerably in health informatics and form data-​sharing partnerships with organizations that have a mutual interest in new uses of information. The global market for advanced analytics /​business intelligence tools is estimated to grow to approximately $313 million by 2013, with the United States expected to be about half that market.

  • Nearly three-​fourths (72%) of people surveyed said they would prefer a health organization that provides a wide range of comprehensive health-​related activities and services, including medical care, insurance and pharmacy benefit.
  • Thirty-​eight percent of people believe that a more integrated care delivery model would help to lower the cost of healthcare, and 36% expect the quality of care would increase.



Six in ten people surveyed said they would be comfortable having their personal health information shared among health organizations, including hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, if it would help to improve the coordination of their care. The purposes for which they would be comfortable with that are:

  • To improve coordination of my care: 60%
  • To support real-​time decision making for my care: 54%
  • To support analysis of my doctor’s performance: 36%
  • To provide data to identify groups/​patients who are at risk: 29% 


Nearly one-​third of survey respondents (32%), including half of people under the age of 35, have used social media channels for healthcare purposes, such as connecting with health organizations and other people with shared health interests.

Social media outlets used:

Facebook: 18%

Youtube: 12%

Blogs: 9%

Google Plus: 8%

Twitter: 6%

WebMD: 4%

LinkedIn: 4%

MySpace: 4%

foursquare 2%

[Source:  "Top Health Industry Issues of 2012."  PricewaterhouseCooper/​Health Research Institute.  Fall 2011.  Web.  20 Dec. 2011.]