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What do you think is going to happen in 2017? No one really knows, but there is plenty in store for the healthcare design and construction industry.

Here are 8 things I predict will happen in the coming 12 months, in no particular order:

1. The ACA repeal will stall; nothing will change for 2-3 years

Yep, it's gonna take that long to repeal and replace a law that is this complex. And I've already said that whatever happens, it's not going to change the trajectory of healthcare design and construction all that much.  But I could be wrong.

2. The healthcare design and construction industry will continue to consolidate

The big A/E/C firms that have been gobbling up mid-size healthcare architecture and design firms will continue to do so. Boutique healthcare product manufacturers, like IoA Healthcare, may also be targets of larger manufacturers.

3. More than 1,000 people will attend the Environments for Aging Conference

Designing for older adults is a huge industry with many opportunities for change.  Besides, it's in Vegas this year. Thinking about it? Here's where you register.

4. Jain Malkin will start writing another book

She claims that the revised "Medical and Dental Space Planning" published in 2015 was her last.  But I don't believe it. Come on, Jain, write another!

5. The number of people who have the EDAC credential will top 2,800

Like my prediction for the Environments for Aging conference, this may be a little ambitious. But there are currently 2,341 certified individuals and last year 280 people took the EDAC exam. If you've been putting this off, now's the time to do it!

6. U.S. healthcare construction spending will grow

In its midyear update, the AIA said that spending would actually double. Given the changes afoot in Washington D.C. that are creating more uncertainty in the healthcare industry, I'm not sure that's possible. It will increase, though.

7. The Changemaker Award will be given to someone who hasn’t served on The Center for Health Design's board

Okay, only 11 out of the 18 honorees were past or future CHD board members when they got the award.  And they are all remarkable leaders.  That's why they were chosen to help guide the organization. But it's time again to recognize someone outside the boardroom. Nominations, anyone?

8. Noise will never again be the lowest scoring question on the HCAHPS survey

Hospitals are making progress with their quiet at night initiatives. In fact, in the latest HCAHPS survey report, the questions about care transition score the lowest. At 62%, the question about the quietness of the hospital environment is second to lowest. Still not great, but much better than what it started out at 10 years ago, which was 54%.

Do you have any bold predictions for 2017?

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Michael Walsh

8 years ago

Well considered. And hopefully correct.

ACA (Affordable Care Act) aka Obamacare is likely to become Trumpcare in most of its aspects, as it seems that the GOP are seeing lots of merit in the ACA legislation now!

Ultimately my view is if you want an efficient healthcare system, single payer is best option .. but hard to implement in our country of lobby (vested interest) politics.


7 years ago

Risk is the concern of the insurance industry and the personal mandate missed the mark on having the young sign up. Change may be in the air, hopefully thoughtfulness will prevail around improving the ACA. A single payor system is the best solution, we'll get there once everyone understands the benefits.

Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

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