The beginning of a new decade comes with significant changes in all fields; the most promising of which are in the healthcare industry. It’s no secret that this industry, specifically has been lagging behind every other industry in terms of innovation and adopting trends. That’s not really all that surprising though. The healthcare industry is one of the most complex systems to ever operate, and this complexity holds true in one of the most advanced and well-established countries ever, the U.S. Despite being a pioneer in adopting technology in all of its industries, the U.S. healthcare industry can certainly benefit from an upgrade. So when something as huge as this industry starts shifting, this is good news in global healthcare.
Here are some of the most significant changes undergoing in the U.S. healthcare system today:
The business model on which healthcare has been operating is outdated for the customers, or in this case, the patients of today. Patients no longer want to sit and watch as doctors make all of their health decisions. With patients becoming more empowered than ever, they expect to be engaged in their healthcare plans and this shift is finally happening. Different healthcare settings have started shifting their focus to being patient-centric, in which patients can expect to get new healthcare models that focus on early intervention and diagnosis and enhanced treatment protocols.
Changes in Medicare
Medicare has been the seniors’ favorite healthcare plan for decades -witnessing certain regulations and changes every now and then. The latest changes have been implemented starting in 2020, which came with the news of discontinuing a few Medigap plans for those turning 65 starting in 2020. Of those plans was the all-time favorite Plan F. This was the only plan that offered complete coverage for all out-of-pocket expenses. Today, Plan G has risen in popularity in its stead, and if you’re trying to figure out which plan is better, then it all depends on your own situation. If you’re yet to turn 65, then plan G is definitely your best option, with Plan F unavailable to you. If you’ve turned 65 before 2020, even if you’re currently enrolled in a different plan, then you have a grandfather right to enroll in Plan F still. This makes the deciding factor the math you do to weigh between the high monthly premiums of Plan F in return for complete coverage, and the lower premiums you pay for Plan G in addition to the Part B deductible you pay out-of-pocket.
If there’s one area in which the healthcare industry is lagging behind, then it’s definitely the lack of technology integration. While it still has a very long way to go, the booming integration looks quite promising. We’re all aware of the newest technological healthcare products that have been slowly introduced into the markets, starting from wearables to self-serving medical devices. As the U.S. healthcare sector starts embracing the latest technologies, it feels like we’re on the brink of a new Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and the medical-AI world.
The integration of technology won’t be the only thing revolutionizing the healthcare industry in the U.S. We’re about to witness the interoperability of the integrated technology to come up with the smartest solutions our time demands. The data we get from these smart machines will be used to improve patient-experience and advance the healthcare scene further.
After adopting technology, the face of healthcare delivery will completely transform. It’s already starting to happen; today, it’s very possible to get a face-time medical consultation in the comfort of your home. We’ve heard about robots performing surgeries and smart apps giving health recommendations.
The industry is also about to witness one of the major changes in its history – one that’s probably only topped by technology integration. This shift concerns the financial structure in which the healthcare industry operates, where we can expect complete rejuvenation of payment models to be value-based instead of paying a fee-per-service.
Workplace changing requirements
All of these changes sound cool, but they’ll never truly be effective if they aren’t adopted by the healthcare personnel first and foremost. While it’s quite challenging to transform the mindsets of almost 3 different active generations of physicians, only those who embrace these changes will come out on top in the next period.
The U.S. healthcare industry is finally joining the race. The industry is undergoing a complete makeover, starting with patient-centricity to technological integration, and even business reformation. While it’s going to be extremely challenging to change such a complex industry, healthcare has been witnessing small steps towards huge progress.