By Abhinav Shashank
Around two decades ago, health care in the United States cost an average of $2800 per person. Ten years later, that figure had shot up to $4700 per person. Over the years, the cost of health care has risen as high as $10,345. At a time when the perceived value of care had dropped down, value-based reimbursement came up on the landscape. The days of siloed health systems, fragmented care management and skyrocketing costs are numbered; only because value-based care is becoming a mainstay today. There are several innovations on the block, amazing new ways of combining technology with care and a dream of a consolidated, unified health care- a bright, optimistic outlook ahead.
Value-based reimbursement in the next five years
Ask an average American on the street what they think of healthcare in the next five years. The answers will range from ground-breaking innovations in curing cancer to drug-pricing solutions. However, a common answer that everyone looks forward to is value-based reimbursement. The rising costs of care are a concern, the degrading quality of care can't be accepted, and value-based care seems to be the way out. According to a 2016 survey, 58% payers are moving towards full value-based reimbursement, and 63% of hospitals were part of some ACO.
There's plenty of finessing to be done, but certainly, the leaders in value-based care understand the importance of harnessing data, acting on analytics-driven insights and improving care coordination across the continuum. In the next five years, the focus on quality reporting and pay-for-performance will only increase, realizing the dream of an affordable healthcare.
New ways of delivering care in the next five years
The paradigm of value-based care aims to make care more convenient and more responsive. The current healthcare is longitudinal and fragmented with some value-focused delivery options. As the years progress, healthcare systems aim to go beyond the traditional four walls of their practice. In the coming years, healthcare can witness a widespread adoption of new methods of following up, remote monitoring, engaging patients, and delivering care on the go.
Telemedicine, mHealth, wearable technology, AI-assisted care are revolutionary innovations that have the potential of taking the healthcare world by storm. Technology combined with the human touch in healthcare will transform the traditional way of delivering care, making care accessible on the go.
Multidisciplinary care teams in the next five years
Several experts have stated recently that by 2030, care delivery teams will be very different than the ones today. Owing to population health management and the push towards end-to-end value-based care, the care teams will assume a multidisciplinary role. Even today, to some extent, care delivery has shifted to a more localized, personalized paradigm and the shift seems to go only upwards.
In the coming five years, the physicians would mainly work with the very sick, the nurses and care coordinators focus on reducing readmissions or bounce-back to ERs and with the support of nutritionists, therapists, behavioral health specialists, the multidisciplinary care teams can focus on doing what they do best- making people healthy and taking them towards an era of preventive care.
Big data opportunities in the next five years
Another development that has been on the upward trajectory is big data. The presence of siloed data sets in healthcare was stark and sorting through large amounts of clinical, financial, and administrative data has only been made possible with the advent of big data analytics. In the next five years, data analytics- especially predictive analytics- is set to explode. Physicians would be able to identify gaps, miscalculations, and even go on to predict which patients are vulnerable to any health risk in future.
Moreover, as the fragments reduce and healthcare IT determines how to best share data, analyze and get them to providers in time, providers are encouraged and empowered to leverage technology to gain valuable insights, communicate with patients and bridge the gap to a data-driven healthcare.
Going beyond the next five years
Even in the coming years, the future of Healthcare dotted with exciting possibilities. The possibilities range from radical cures to seemingly incurable diseases to putting AI to work. In a nutshell, it can be safely said that healthcare is driven by the goal to deliver quality care and keep people healthy. In the next five years, there would be an increased ability to deliver quality, improved patient care and the presence of advanced and innovative systems that deliver the care patients need. There are plenty of innovations on the horizon in the coming years achieving an affordable and efficient healthcare would no longer be a lofty ambition.
Abhinav Shashank, Co-Founder & CEO at Innovaccer, is an expert in population health management and robust technologies. For the better part of the decade he has been working to revolutionize healthcare delivery with 25+ value-focused organization and making over 10 million lives better.