Healthcare TrendsAs the new year arrives, it’s a great time to step back and review overall strategy.

We’ve got the perfect tool to help you with that: Manatt Health Solutions’ “10 Megatrends Shaping Healthcare’s Next 10 Years.” Manatt, a law firm with offices across the country, is predicting cultural, technological, and financial changes that merit consideration. How will these changes affect your business in the next year or two, assuming they materialize? With 2021 kicking, Forbes released an article citing the biggest 5 healthcare trends to watch for, and surprise – their predicts align Manatt’s initial ones.

1. Consumers take charge.

Manatt predicts that consumers will gain access to better health information, behavior monitoring tools, and insurance marketplaces. In turn, this will  further create more awareness of costs,  engaged consumers, and fast growth in home-based self-care.

2. Doing more with less.

As providers move from being paid for volume to being paid for outcomes, primary care will gain prominence. In addition, Manatt predicts that this could possibly lead to lower pricing for specialists, the role of non-physician providers will expand, and quality metrics will become all-important.

3. Healthcare everywhere.

As healthcare moves from hospitals and clinics to homes and communities, there will be a seamless integration of healthcare and technology. We’ll also see smartphones that can monitor vital signs, social media platforms designed to drive healthy behaviors, and patients opting for new places to receive care. Bernard Marr’s Forbes article mentions how all companies will learn to adapt and incorporate healthcare into their employee safeguards as we’ve seen through the year.

4. Mega health systems.

Some hospitals merge to gain efficiency and improve quality. These mega-systems will further generate significant demand for risk management and population health tools. As practices have learned lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care and remote medicine will begin to play a larger role in our healthcare industry.

5. States as payers, public health agents, and innovators.

Expect Medicaid to become a more proactive provider, closer alignment of Medicaid/Medicare with private insurers, a more integrated approach (medical, behavioral, public health, and social issues), and a movement toward managed care plans for the aged and disabled.

6. Value through data.

Aggregated patient data (big data) including outcome-based reimbursement models, improved decision making, evaluation of drugs and medical devices, and facilitation of clinical trials will be leveraged in a multitude of ways. From a financial perspective, the transparency of data and inclusion of AI could possibly lead to more broad and fair healthcare coverage.

7. Predict, prevent, personalize.

Biomedical research (genomics, cytomics, proteomics) will lead to the development of new ways to develop drugs, diagnose diseases, and treat patients. As the technology advances and materializes, artificial intelligence will begin to play a larger role in clinical support. As scientific breakthroughs increase and the complexity of medicine and our human understanding of it takes off, our industry will soon begin to see “precision” medicine where drugs can be likened to fit a patient’s genetic profile, Marr predicts.

8. Employers recalibrate.

As the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect, employer-based health coverage will then shift to new marketplaces. As a result, we may see employers pooling their purchasing power to contract with select providers.

9. The new aging.

For example, healthcare systems struggling to cope with a growing group of older Americans will focus on helping people stay in their homes longer and face the end of their lives with dignity.

10. Healthcare goes global.

Medical tourism gives Americans more options, but they involve new types of risks. Soon, US pharmaceutical manufacturers may see opportunities in overseas populations willing to pay cash for specialty products. Essentially, Manatt sees our health system being entirely re-invented over the next decade. In fact, medical billing companies that plan accordingly will thrive; the rest will likely become obsolete.
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Last Updated on January 6, 2021