Healthcare and Higher Education on the Same Stumbling Block

Healthcare and higher education face many of the same challenges including rising prices, consumer criticism, decreasing public funds and an increasing need for collaborations or mergers. Quality is a huge issue in healthcare, similarly the quality of higher education is being questioned. On average, the price of tuition and fees grew over 550% from 1985 to 2011. During the same time, healthcare prices rose roughly 350% and so the value of healthcare is also being questioned, ‘What’s the value that we’re actually delivering?”

Healthcare is a roughly $2.9 trillion annual industry in the U.S., and some estimate that as much as $750 billion is wasted each year. State appropriations in public higher education have declined in recent decades and the Affordable Care Act means less federal money for hospitals and healthcare systems. New York-Presbyterian is estimated to lose at least $1.5 billion in federal dollars over the next 5 years as a result of changes made by the ACA.

In recent decades, New York City went from having about 75 independent hospitals to 6 hospital systems due to increased mergers. The scale and scope of mergers in higher education is much smaller, but colleges are collaborating much more to reduce costs. Both industries are being disrupted by new technologies especially online delivery systems, which are revolutionizing service and making everything more consumer-friendly. In order to thrive in this ever-changing environment, both hospitals and universities must improve the way they tackle challenges in order to deliver higher quality and lower cost services. 

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Alison Killian is a recent graduate of Grove City College who majored in Business Management and minored in Biology Studies. She is a contributor to Medical Groups and passionate about all facets of healthcare. She plans on continuing work in the healthcare field especially in management. She is very interested in healthcare innovation and finding ways to improve the current system. She hopes to go back to school in a few years to earn a degree in medicine.