When it comes to healthcare, the old adage is true–the only permanent thing is change. From advances in medical technology to new health insurances regulations, the healthcare industry is constantly changing and evolving. Here are five healthcare trends you can expect to see in 2019:
- Telemedicine: What began as a way to treat patients in remote areas or those with limited access to healthcare either due to geographic proximity or a shortage of medical providers, telemedicine is becoming more mainstream. In 2019, you can expect to see more patients connecting with physicians through telecommunication and digital devices, and less sitting in the waiting room. By the end of 2021, it is predicted that telemedicine will be worth more than $66 billion.
- Value-Based Care: The shift toward value-based care will continue in 2019. With this model, physicians and hospitals are rewarded for helping patients improve their health and prevent and reduce the effects of chronic disease. Patients spend less money and become healthier, providers and suppliers become more efficient and the country’s overall healthcare spending will be reduced.
- Physician Consolidation: The burden to reduce healthcare costs are falling more and more on providers. As a result, patients can expect to see more physicians consolidate with other physicians groups to increase their efficiencies by leveraging shared resources. This also means a consolidation of resources and likely an increase in outsourcing common administrative tasks such as medical transcription, billing, and coding.
- High-Performance Networks: Not only are hospitals and physicians consolidating into larger healthcare networks and physician groups, but they’re also partnering with insurance providers to create high-performance networks. More employers, particularly large corporations, are offering high-performance networks because they often give them the ability to offer lower premiums and lower deductibles to their employees. However, due to low utilization, this is a trend to watch as it may fizzle out in the long-term.
- Increased Use of Technology: From augmented reality and artificial intelligence to automation and biometrics, one thing you can bank on is an increased use of technology in the healthcare industry. Currently, there is a big focus on blockchain chain technology which allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Because the healthcare industry is such a prominent target for data breaches, the implementation of blockchain technology will continue in 2019.
In order to ensure their viability and long-term profitability for the future, physicians and hospital administrators should pay close attention to these healthcare trends in the new year and beyond. If you’re ready to invest in state-of-the-art technology solutions for your practice or healthcare organization, learn more about how Fast Chart’s innovative clinical documentation solutions can help you stay ahead of the curve and save you both time and money.