1. Increased Utilization and Oversight of Advanced Technology (Including AI): As Texas health care organizations, providers, payors, and vendors increasingly adopt and rely on advanced technology to perform various tasks, certain technologies will likely be subject to increased regulatory oversight. The federal government (through various agencies) has indicated its interest in monitoring and controlling the use of these technologies in ways that may impact patients and their data.
  2. Increased Corporatization and Consolidation: A trend towards consolidation among health care providers continues, including an increase in acquisitions by private equity funds. However, media and research attention have focused on allegations of higher costs and lower quality in some organizations that are part of this trend. Recent federal actions by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission signal increased scrutiny of these acquisitions and any potentially anti-competitive effects based on certain facts particular to an arrangement or organization. Loss of autonomy resulting from practice acquisitions has some physicians looking to alternative practice arrangements, including unionizing.
  3. Changes to Value-Based Arrangements: Arrangements among providers, health plans, and companies that manage them are coming under scrutiny by the state of Texas. Contracts that restrict physician mobility and retention of patients will soon be subject to Texas legislation banning certain anti-competitive contracting provisions, particularly by payers and nonphysician administrators. In addition, a verdict in a recent Texas corporate practice of medicine case may affect future structuring and compliance policies when private equity is involved.
  4. Telemedicine Expansion: Telemedicine had a high-water mark during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the telehealth waivers that were put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency have been extended until Dec. 31, 2024. New legislation and proposed rules are in place that will expand the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology as well as boost Medicare coverage and payment for RPM and digital therapeutics.
  5. Continued Emphasis on Containing Costs: Payers are expected to focus on cost containment initiatives in 2024. Managed care organizations and health plans are expected to implement increasingly sophisticated reimbursement models and innovative technology for utilization management.