Did 2013 leave you wondering about health care in 2014? There’s no doubt about it: the health care industry is being transformed even as I type. While I don’t have a crystal ball, there are trends we can see – and much of what is happening is because of technology. Cornerstone Alliance exists to ensure that current and future residents in our Primary Service Area are able to receive health care locally, with good access, competence and affordability.
As we look forward to what lies ahead, we want to share some of the transformation in health care that we see unfolding before us.
The Transformation Consumers Will See
Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals, shared in a recent blog post, “Over the past decade, the internet has transferred power from the buyer to the seller in several different consumer sectors. We’re helping shape that transition in health care. Other patients’ feedback on doctors has become a critical part of the process of selecting a doctor.” He outlined five key changes he predicts health care consumers will see in the coming year:
- Wait Times Will Go Up- Over a million new people enrolled in the health care system in 2013, and many millions more are estimated to begin participating in 2014
- Patients Will Continue to Love Their Doctors- Health care consumers are becoming more savvy about choosing a doctor with whom they can build a lasting relationship
- Urgent Care and Alternate Care Center Use Will Continue To Grow- Consumers have more options to choose from than just their primary care physician when they want or need to receive care
- More Online Appointments- In 2013, about 20 percent of practices allowed online appointment requests either through patient portals or online scheduling services
- Increase in the Power of Online Patient Reviews- In 2014, more will turn to online reviews for comparing doctors, just like we do for other purchase decisions
The Transformation Technology is Creating
Forbes magazine outlined 5 ways technology is transforming the health care industry to help keep people healthy. Because of this, venture capitalists are pouring funds into Health IT, simply because technology will enable health care to be more efficient and effective through:
- Crunching data to offer a better diagnosis and treatment
- Helping doctors communicate with patients
- Linking doctors with other doctors
- Connecting doctors and patients
- Helping patients stay healthy
The Transformation We Need to Know About
The transformation of health care has far-reaching effects. Because of this, insurance providers must stay on top of the changing health care landscape. Consumer needs and the opportunities offered by technology are transforming health care in a variety of ways, including these 6 outlined in a recent article by Mark Roberts:
- Guaranteed issue- In 2014, health insurance companies cannot deny health insurance coverage to an individual based on a pre-existing condition. They must give coverage to anyone who applies
- Taxation, with representation- The penalty is $95 per uninsured adult, in 2014 there’s a $325 cap for a family or 1 percent of taxable household income, whichever is greater
- Boomer sooner- The 50+ population is the fastest growing segment worldwide and predicted life expectancies are at a historical high
- Designer teeth and eyes- More people are retiring earlier than ever before, these men and women have been used to keeping up appearances and having access to aesthetic benefits like dental and vision
- Clinical review- Americans are seeking access to less expensive health care options including clinics and urgent care centers rather than going to typical private physician offices
- Doc talk- There’s a huge opportunity for mobile applications and customized, purpose-built devices. There are already roughly 100,000 health applications available in major app stores
What lies ahead for health care in 2014?
The transformation of health care in 2014 will bring new ways of providing access, competence, and affordability to support healthier communities. Contact us for more information about how Cornerstone Alliance can support your organization through our network of providers.