Healthcare is constantly changing. The trends that affect healthcare mainly stem from age groups, new technology and patient care. There has been shift in thinking in how patients are treated (value-based) now that there are more options for care, such as outpatient procedures, senior care communities and drug therapies. With AI impacting healthcare along with the cost of prescription drugs, let’s take a look at some of the healthcare trends to be expected this year.
- Hospitals will Severely Monitor Drug Costs — According to Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report, prescription drugs constitute 17 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, making it a fast growing segment of healthcare. Healthcare leaders will be monitoring drug spending to reduce the overall budget for their facilities.
- Nationwide Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) — Although EMRs are not new, the fact that healthcare providers across the country have finally digitized medicals records is. Now, it is much easier for hospitals to look up a patient’s medical record to learn what medications he is/was taking, identify patterns in care, discover family medical history … etc. This integrated technology will enable medical staff to make better and faster decisions, which will improve patient outcomes.
- Increased Need for Geriatrics — Baby Boomers are the second highest age group in the United States. In fact, by 2034, they will outnumber adolescents. Thus, the need for physicians and nurses specializing in geriatrics will be in high demand. Seniors are prone to health issues after age 65. Many will have more than one chronic disease, such as heart disease and COPD. Also, the number of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients continues to rise, which will require specialized care.
- Increased Enrollment in the Medicare Advantage Program — Since the number of seniors is rising, membership in this program will nearly quadruple by 2025. Seniors like its “HMO-like” feel and the perks, including eye and dental coverage. These are often left out of healthcare coverage and must be paid out-of-pocket by the patient.
- An Increase in Home Healthcare Agencies — More seniors are electing to stay in their homes (or live with their adult child) in their golden years. These seniors are mobile, but still require supervision, especially when it comes to administering medication. There will be an increase in the usage in-home care agencies, with many specializing in Alzheimer’s care. To complement the care, seniors will have access to new technology, such as wearable sensors and virtual assistants. They are cheaper than most senior living facilities, but they will reduce connectivity with humans.