Healthcare is changing. We’re on the edge of a new era of healthcare where more people are getting access to information, and more providers are using technology. The changes in healthcare will have huge impacts on what happens with our healthcare system, but it’s hard to know exactly how things will change for patients or providers. That being said, here are some predictions about the future of healthcare!
While most of the future of healthcare can be debated, no one can deny that the number of patients will increase in the future. And considering how modern healthcare is helping increase the life expectancy of people all around the States, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. This will also have an impact on healthcare access. Considering how waiting lines at a primary care physician are already unbearable, an increase in the number of patients will probably stretch it further. We might be looking at a situation where you might not be able to secure an appointment for months on end.
Technology has already been a massive part of the healthcare industry. We have apps that help us track our fitness and can use technology to get prescriptions online. There are also new technologies like telemedicine (where you can see your doctor over video chat) which allows individuals who live in rural areas access to high-quality doctors without traveling long distances. But it’s only going to get more prevalent! For instance, imagine someday being able to monitor your blood pressure or heart rate at home with some sort of wearable device? It might sound crazy now but imagining what computers were like 20 years ago; this is boundless. The future of healthcare will be where patients play an integral role in their treatment, thanks mainly to the increasing presence of technology.
The availability of more information about health care is both good and bad news for people in the industry. On one hand, it allows individuals to learn how they can take better care of themselves. Still, on the other hand, it’s also leading to an increase in consumerism where patients are demanding that their providers do this or that treatment that might not be best suited for them.
The patient as the ultimate consumer:
We’ve already seen some changes where employers are choosing plans based on what employees want rather than basing things solely on price anymore- think high deductible plans. While this can increase costs, it also means that there is a lot more room for innovation in terms of what healthcare can look like. It’s no longer just about which treatment offers the best chance at survival; but instead, it’s now about access and quality as well.
Development of a different delivery model:
This makes sense since we’re already seeing many changes with how health care functions currently, such as telemedicine or concierge medicine, where doctors work directly with patients via some sort of subscription service. However, an even bigger change could be on its way soon- one where providers are incentivized to keep people healthy rather than simply treating them when they get sick. That might sound nice. Well, not so fast because that means that individuals who are already ill might not be able to access the care they need.
Innovation-driven by competition:
We all know about what happens when there’s a lack of competition in any market- prices go up, and quality goes down. Competition is needed for innovation, but instead, we’re currently seeing a decrease in it where larger organizations buy out smaller ones, leading to an increase in monopolies which could have drastic effects on the future of healthcare if things keep going this way. Unfortunately, with many health insurance companies merging, hospitals consolidating, or even physician groups being bought out, it doesn’t look like this trend will change anytime soon either!
The increasing costs:
It wasn’t long ago that the United States was viewed as one of the top countries for healthcare in terms of quality and accessibility. Unfortunately, now it’s lagging behind many other developed nations worldwide because costs are rising so quickly thanks to unnecessary treatments or services being performed, which leads to another point.
Less pay for providers:
Hospitals have been pushing doctors away from working full-time at their facility due to how much they’re making them pay per visit/procedure/etc. It also doesn’t help that insurance companies keep finding ways to reduce reimbursement rates either! Combined with everything else mentioned above, these factors will undoubtedly lead to further shortages in primary care physicians where patients could be left waiting indefinitely just trying to get an appointment.
Increasing number of uninsured:
We all know the United States doesn’t have an excellent track record for providing coverage for its citizens. Millions of people go without any sort of health insurance whatsoever, which is scary because they won’t be able to pay out-of-pocket costs if something goes wrong. With that being said, this also means that providers will need to pick up the tab and guess where those costs might end up going? Either onto consumers in terms of higher premiums or back into provider profits since insurers aren’t going to be paying as much anymore due to how many uninsured individuals exist on top of everything else mentioned here.
The continued need for a new healthcare system:
It seems like every time we turn around, there’s something else that could be improved in the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if these problems will go away anytime soon either, so a new approach should be taken to ensure that everyone has access to quality care- regardless of income or other factors.
There’s no doubt that there has been some forward momentum in improving different aspects of health care, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be enough. Many issues have arisen, and unless we can find a way to deal with them all head-on, then patients will continue to suffer across the country, which is certainly not what anyone wants. That being said, hopefully, by tackling each problem individually while also coming up with new ways to fix everything at once, we’ll finally see some improvement for everyone involved! In other words, this isn’t going away anytime soon, so individuals need to learn how to start taking more control over their well-being.