5 Health Care Predictions to Keep an Eye out for in the Year 2020

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, it is fitting that we closely examine the chatter surrounding the nation’s health care system for 2020.  Health care leaders should keep an eye out for the leading industry trends that have the ability to shape the future of healthcare. Here are 5 health care predictions that we think will be most notable in 2020 to keep an eye out for.

  1.  Look for a shift in power from hospital-based systems back towards physician groups.  Independent physician groups who have not been absorbed through an acquisition from a hospital system will most likely be seeking out alternative options for lucrative partnerships. Primary care providers continue to strive to provide personalized care to their communities in the ever-evolving health care landscape.  In order to continue to deliver quality of care and services, practices are beginning to closely evaluate private equity groups.  Private equity groups are more attractive to independent physicians for a variety of reasons. They offer innovative workflow processes, access to new payer contracts, value-based programs, performance drivers, group purchasing, access to a larger network of specialty services, along with a large number of other opportunities that they do not have access to if they remain independent.  What is exciting about these newly emerging medical groups is that physicians are able to maintain their independent autonomy. They can focus on their passion – practicing medicine, increase their revenue and enjoy a healthier work-life balance.  Partnering with a private equity group appears to be a win-win for physicians on all fronts.

    2. Continued drive to the in-home care model – Since the average cost of hospitalization in the United States boasts a hefty price tag of between $2,000 – $3,000, the push towards increasing in-home care will continue to trend upward in the new year.  The rising costs of health care are a driving factor towards the development and adoption of expansive home-based service lines. Primary care, urgent care, palliative care and in-home hospital care are a few of the programs that are becoming more accessible for physicians and patients to utilize at home. The adoption of added home care programs has become increasingly attractive for patients. Patients would much rather remain in the comforts of their homes receiving care that they need rather than have to travel and possibly spend hours in a physician’s office or days in a hospital.  As we transition to a more in-home focus for care, we will most likely find a resistance from physicians and health care staff. Providers may prefer to work out of their offices or health centers versus having to spend time traveling in their car to patient’s homes.

    3.  Silicon Valley’s attempt to invade the health care market – There is certainly a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding the news that several of Silicon Valley giants have sudden interest in jumping into the health care pool.  The most notable to make headlines is Google Health.  Google Health is creating massive waves by claiming their intention to conduct groundbreaking research and the development of hardware to greatly improve the quality of patient care.  They believe their systems will be far more efficient and streamlined than what exists today. They are exploring developing insurance and have already started examining the diagnostics and management of certain disease states such as, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Cardiovascular disease, just to name a few.  Although, tech companies may continue to splash the media’s headlines in 2020, it will most likely be years until we see any significant movement into their inception in the health care space.

    4. Big Box retailers – Not only are our nation’s tech companies trying to get into the health care industry, but big box retailers are trying to make their stake as well.   Walmart and Best Buy are two of the most recent national retailers who are making headway.  In September of 2019, Walmart opened its first pilot Walmart Health in-store clinic in Dallas, Texas.  Walmart Health has not yet publicized their plans to roll out this program nationwide. But it will only be a matter of time before we begin to see Walmart Health clinics popping up across the United States.  Offering an array of services including medical, vision and mental health services to the public at an extremely low pricing structure, we will carefully watch to see if a significant toll will take an effect on insurance companies. Their ability to offer low, transparent prices will allow many Americans access to quality healthcare they may not be available to them otherwise, due to lack of income or insurance. 

    Shockingly, Best Buy has leaped over the retail giant, Walmart, by leaps and bounds.  Best Buy has already spent $1 billion on healthcare acquisitions, attempting to capture the 65 and over market.  Their focus is taking their already highly trusted, customer service-based workforce, Geek Squad, and expanding their successful model into home health care services.  With its $800 million acquisition of GreatCall, a smartphone, smartwatch, and medical alert devices developer, Best Buy is quickly gobbling up technologies that are geared towards keeping aging seniors in their home, while allowing monitoring access to their physicians and families.

    5.  Ending the stigma of mental health and substance abuse disorders – As we head into 2020, we will continue to see the stigma surrounding behavioral health conditions and substance abuse disorders diminishing.  We owe gratitude, in part, to celebrities and other public figures who have openly taking the stage to disclose their own personal struggles and challenges in order to increase awareness, encourage, and inspire others to do the same. Thankfully, conversations are becoming more common and walls of access are deteriorating. We will see a dramatic increase in startups and organizations providing access to individuals who need help.   Let’s hope society, as a whole, is destigmatized to the clouds that have surrounded mental health and substance abuse disorders for far too long.  As we head into an election year, the hope in the industry is that our new candidates will acknowledge the need for far more resources and funding for programs.

If you are a physician who is looking to improve your practice performance, focus on practicing medicine, significantly increase your revenue while retaining your independence and improving your quality of life in the year 2020, call Consensus Health today.  For more information on how you can become part of the most comprehensive multi-specialty network of providers, specialists, and insurance providers contact our team at Consensus Health or call 856.762.2469. 

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