Healthcare trends are changing in the year 2011 as providers are moving towards new care delivery models. These trends (outlined below) are predicted to have an enduring impact on the healthcare industry.
In many instances, new care delivery models will affect insurance membership. Those who are unemployed will increasingly take advantage of the COBRA plan, while those who are employed and have the liability to pay a bigger portion of their health plan premium will be more likely select a high deductible, low premium PPO plan.
Since the unemployment rate is increasing along with inflation, the costs associated with health care plans have also risen. Due to increasingly high patient responsibility amounts, many patients are more likely to postpone treatment until absolutely necessary. As a result, providers and hospitals may experience some negative financial impact.
Hospital construction projects are projected to shift focus and will be increasingly based on faster and higher returns. Hospitals will be enhancing their capacities for newly insured and emergency patients.
Information technology is now the driving factor in the providers’ ability to move to new care models. Accordingly, 2011 will see a huge push in efforts to implement electronic health records, health information exchanges, e-prescribing, electronic lab connectivity and a multitude of other healthcare IT solutions.
Finally, in order to improve returns and lower costs, physicians and hospital groups may turn to new care models such as accountable care, bundled payments, patient-centered medical homes and clinical integration.