Health Care Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

The ACA brings increased cost responsibility on consumers, smarter technology, and more choices for 2015 and beyond. Vitals CEO Mitch Rothschild outlines five key changes to expect in the coming year:

1. Diagnosis Outside The Doctor’s Office: There are several reasons why your next diagnosis may happen outside of a doctor’s office in 2015. Retail clinics and urgent care centers are often more convenient. Over-the-counter home kits are can now diagnose more conditions, such as Hepatitis C, HIV, and prostate cancer. New technologies scan for everything from fevers to Parkinson’s disease. People will be seeing the doctor less often, but for more serious problems. Wearable technology provides data that patients can discuss with their doctors, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and care. For 2020, there will be a huge appetite for self-diagnostics, which could reduce the cost and resources it takes to provide routine care. A wave of simple diagnostic tools and tests will become the norm in a few years,

2. Provider Price Wars: The health care marketplace will get a boost from more options for medical care and diagnosis and more transparency. Companies and health plans are pairing quality and cost data on hospitals and doctors, allowing consumers to shop for care. Competition, cost and choice will fuel price wars among health care providers. Besides retail clinics like CVS and Walgreens, hospitals and medical centers will also compete on price. Places like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma guarantee the price for procedures, including doctor fees, initial consults, and uncomplicated follow-up care. The center has attracted patients from across the country. The cost is cheaper than local hospitals; and employers are willing to foot the bill — flights, travel and lodging included. Couponing, incentives and other retail-model discounts will become part of the shopping experience for patients. In 2020, hospitals will invest in certain diseases and disorders while outsourcing general surgeries and procedures to more efficient and price-competitive surgery centers. This will lead to better, more efficient care.

3. Emphasis On Behavioral Data: Personal data and incentives can help people  take manage their financial and physical well-being. In 2020, new tools and services will be needed to connect and analyze a wider range of data sources and deliver deeper meaning as we move from historical tracking to predictive modeling.

4. Care Designed For One: The personalized care movement will come from the convergence of data and technology. Doctors will go beyond the medical history form and inflexible guidelines to consider their patients’ genetics and behaviors. In 2020, there will be DNA-designed pharmaceuticals. As personalized health evolves next to genetic mapping, we will soon see medications and treatments designed for your physiology.

5. Cost Increases Spur Consumer Shopping: There is no end to the movement toward high deductible health plans (HDHPs). Large deductibles highter out-of-pocket costs. As a result, thoughtful consumer purchasing will become the norm. The result will lead us towards a less wasteful, more efficient health care system. In 2020, expect to see more benefit trimming. Pharmaceutical benefits will be redesigned. Expensive specialty drugs will force employers to increase cost sharing for brand-name medications.

Last Updated 10/20/2021

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