Every year, Forbes.com shares their predictions for the upcoming year in healthcare. There is no crystal ball for these type of forecasts — they compile this information from multiple credible sources.
So, without further ado, here is a summary of their projections for what we can expect in the healthcare industry for 2020.
1. Delivery of home-based care will persist.
The price tag of being hospitalized is hefty, and plays a large role in increasing the U.S. healthcare expenses. On average it costs over $2,000 a day to stay in a hospital bed. In some states, it can go as high as $3,000 a day. Keeping technologies current and patients happy, there is a push to think outside of the hospital’s four walls and recreate how healthcare is delivered. Home-based PCP, acute care, and palliative care will gain momentum toward becoming mainstream. However, it will receive mixed reviews from healthcare professionals; it’s likely that they will appreciate the warmth that comes with home-based personalized care, but they may not care for the drive-time and hassle of traveling to homes vs. a clinical setting.
2. Physician groups will take more of their power back.
Across the United States, health providers are in search of new possibilities. One hopeful solution is available through Aledade, a company that assembles private physician groups into accountable care organizations (ACOs). Additionally, among certain specialties such as urology and cardiology, private equity companies are transitioning provider groups to improve production and negotiate desirable contracts. Consequently, there is a strong likelihood that even equity-backed provider groups will ultimately become acquired by sizable healthcare systems.
3. Pharma pricing & innovation will be a hot topic of discussion.
Pharmaceutical drugs continue to have a negative connotation associated with their costly price. However, a positive solution is on the horizon as breakthroughs from biotech and pharma companies will transform healthcare. It is anticipated that the narrative will transition from the steep price tag of drugs, to discovering innovative and clever paths to fund them.
4. Medicare Advantage-for-All taking center stage.
Medicare Advantage has earned fans over the last decade from providers and healthcare organizations, who feel satisfied with their compensation compared to the quality of care they provide to their patients. The beneficiaries of Medicare often times feel that the caliber of care delivered in Medicare Advantage programs are more valuable vs. fee-for-service choices. With elections ahead of us later this year, we will see candidates promoting the expansion of access, as well as advocating for private sectors to embrace “Medicare Advantage for All” as a convincing replacement to the contentious “Medicare for All.”
5. Tech companies playing a larger role in healthcare.
It is anticipated that Silicon Valley and big tech companies will penetrate healthcare delivery in an even bigger way. Blockchain and artificial intelligence are some examples where companies will play a leading role in leading transformation; these areas are currently underserved by payment and business models. However, we won’t assume that these changes will take place overnight.
6. Big box retailers join the healthcare market.
National retail chains are entering the healthcare market, including Walmart and Best Buy, and we can expect that many more to follow suit. In September 2019, Walmart opened its first health clinic near its existing store in Georgia. The site provides a wide range of primary care, dental, and imaging services, and is staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners and other non-clinical employees. Additionally, Best Buy made their intentions clear to become known as a health care company, rather than an electronics business. Another prediction is that companies who hop on this band wagon will end up falling flat in their delivery, because many will not take the time to ‘learn their way around’ the healthcare space, only leading to major disappointment from customers.
7. Transparency reigns supreme in big data.
Privacy implications for who owns certain types of data will heat up even more, holding companies accountable for their levels of transparency and authenticity. For example, Consumers who purchased DNA kits are just some of the people who may learn a hard truth about the privacy of their personal information.
8. Mental health and substance abuse will become front and center.
The stigma surrounding behavioral health conditions has made a tremendous improvement from years past. People in the public eye have openly shared their struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health disorders, making the topic of conversation less taboo. New startups are improving the ability to receive care for mental health afflictions and substance abuse disorders. We anticipate that the shame related to these struggles will become more accepted in our society.
To round out our 2020 prediction series, be sure to check our Blog later this month as we’ll share what is anticipated to play out in healthcare IT by industry experts.