The healthcare system is currently undergoing a huge transformation due to several drivers and trends. Let’s look at these trends transforming healthcare in detail below…
One of the biggest things driving healthcare right now is the population health initiative that was put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since chronic disease has been on the rise and is expected to continue increasing, the government has made the monitoring of population health outcomes mandatory.
The ACA is addressing population health by expanding insurance coverage, improving and monitoring the quality of care, enhancing prevention and health promotion measures, promoting community-based health activities, and monitoring the health of populations.
This has shifted everything: healthcare providers are now incented to provide quality care instead of quantity, employers are incented to offer employee wellness programs, and individuals are incented to better manage their health.
The healthcare payment structure must change as a result of the quality outcome monitoring that comes out of population health. Value-based payments, which are made based on outcomes and customer service, are making their debut and will become more the norm as they continue to replace fee-for-service payments.
Wellness & Prevention
With health outcomes on the radar, the healthcare industry now has a much bigger interest in wellness and prevention. The wellness industry is growing at incredible rates. Insurance plans now cover certain services that help people prevent chronic disease and healthcare providers are now consulting with their patients as to how they can work to stay well instead of just treating them when they are sick.
Genomics, Big Data & Personalized Healthcare
With prevention being so important, there has to be a way to make predictions about one’s health in order to take the steps necessary to prevent disease on a personalized level. This is where genomics and big data come in.
With the study of the human genome and as more and more DNA data is collected on individuals around the world, science and healthcare is and will continue to grow in leaps and bounds. The insights we can gain from this big data lead to better outcomes, higher quality care, and more personalized care because we are able to determine what diseases a person is likely to get as a result of their genetic makeup so that customized prevention strategies and treatments can be used.
Wearables & Patient Participation
The popularity of wearables like the Fitbit are proof that patients are starting to participate more in their own health. Gone are the days when patients simply went with what their doctors told them. Now, patients are surrounded with information at their fingertips, fitness and nutrition technology, and a plethora of options that include more convenient ways to manage health, such as remote patient management, home health care, retail health and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).