In-home care and small-scale care becoming more prominent
- In-home care becoming increasingly important
- Hospitals resorting to mergers
- More cooperation between care providers
More competition on the care market
‘In-home care where possible, care homes where necessary’: this concept forms the basis for the reforms in the long-term care sector. The same government budget can offer 20 to 30 percent more people care if they continue to live independently rather than moving into a care home. In-home care occupies an increasingly prominent position as a result, ABN AMRO concludes in its Vision on Healthcare, published today. To provide the healthcare needs outside care homes, legislation has been developed that makes provision for in-home care. For example, the new regime offers additional possibilities for higher levels of in-home care. At the same time, competition between care homes and private care providers is becoming fiercer. ABN AMRO believes that care homes are facing the challenge of offering a recognisable range of intramural healthcare services and providing competitive services for the external market.
Wave of mergers resulting in larger hospitals
Hospitals are consolidating their care, necessitated to do so by contraction, volume requirements and the need for a stronger position in negotiations with healthcare insurers. Controlling healthcare costs will also be an important priority during the coming years. The government has now made hospitals accountable for their results and asked healthcare insurers to monitor that the costs remain reasonable. At the same time it is important to safeguard quality. Many hospitals have recently resorted to mergers, seeking to continue to provide a high standard of care. ABN AMRO does not expect this pattern to be tenable in the long term, if only because previous mergers have left few suitable parties. It also stresses that smaller operators can also serve a useful function on the market.
Cooperation in the healthcare sector improving
The concentration of the changing healthcare needs both in hospital care and in long-term care makes it more important for care providers to work together, says Anja van Balen, Sector Banker Healthcare at ABN AMRO. ‘Partnerships in the healthcare sector are still slow to emerge, as the relevant laws are still very new and healthcare procurers have yet to adjust. Nevertheless, we expect initiatives to be picked up again later in the year. Individuals and healthcare institutions are gradually becoming familiar with the new status quo in long-term care. As municipalities also become acquainted with their new responsibilities, cooperation between municipalities and healthcare institutions will improve as well.’