Lin-Manuel Miranda was clearly doing something right when he wrote these lyrics for Hamilton. We are at the start of a healthcare revolution and this is just the beginning.
Last year, we learned of a potential partnership with Walmart and Humana. Will there be a merge? A buyout? It’s still in the works but the two companies are in talks, and healthcare may seemingly shift to unexpected places. The nation is treating healthcare differently now, and we need to be prepared for this change.
Let’s Be Independent
It’s quite intimidating and overwhelming to play a more active role in your personal healthcare journey, though patients are now taking responsibility in terms of their health. They are doing more to understand what they need – whether it’s searching the web (which may include a bit too much googling), talking to others about treatment options and even asking for their own data from their doctors to make educated decisions going forward. Not only are patients taking this active role, but doctors are actually getting trained to help guide their patients to make these informed, independent decisions.
Keeping Ties With The Big Guys
Companies in every industry are using healthcare as a business opportunity. With the rise in consumerism, companies are finding ways to keep ties with the big guys. Both sides are benefiting from this partnership. Insurance companies want to partner with consumer companies to take a broader role in the healthcare world. Last June, Walmart announced its partnership with a major lab company to offer lab testings in stores.
“In announcing [the Walmart] partnership last June, a Walmart executive said the company was ‘not only focused on providing accessible, affordable health care, but also working to extend our offerings—truly making our stores a one-stop shop for our customers.’” Dana Mattioli
Companies are constantly seeking out partnerships that can give them a more extensive role in health.
Keep Calm and Money On
The U.S. spends more than $3 trillion dollars a year on healthcare. One of the major reasons for this rise is due to the Baby Boomer population – as more enroll in Medicare health insurance programs, prices go up. It’s going to be very important going forward for a big change to happen in care delivery.
But let’s keep calm and money on because Baby Boomers will also bring a wealth of technological innovation. We’ll likely see more access to digital health records and companies will be more cognizant of care and overall wellbeing. Stay tuned.
The Doctor Is…Out
Where do you go for your prescriptions? The doctor. Who do you speak with to get your medical questions answered? The doctor. When in doubt, where do you go to get care? The doctor. This is going to be a huge shift in the healthcare revolution as the role of our doctors are becoming less and less prevalent.
“Executives increasingly view their organizations as a clinic that operates hospitals, rather than a hospital-centered system.” Alex Kacik
Traditional providers are used to playing leading roles as the primary source for care. Outside businesses will have a larger effect on this.
Let’s Help the Healthy
So many people today only go to the doctor when they are ill. They say they don’t need their annual checkup and “never get sick.” Well, these are the people we will be keeping our eye on. If the healthy are being focused on, the care of sick people (and costs related) will essentially decrease.
Back in 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2020, which aims for improved quality of life.
“It goes beyond direct measures of population health, life expectancy, and causes of death, and focuses on the impact health status has on quality of life.” Healthy People 2020
This is going to be a big change for the U.S. but will ensure that optimizing people’s health is going to be key, especially for reducing costs for the care of the sick.
Wear Your Health
Sales have bumped for all different types of health watches, trackers and wearable fitness. It goes beyond fashion choice and now assists in health and fitness goals. It has become part of our daily routine – step challenges with coworkers and friends, watching your heart rate, even reminders to stand up from your desk. The future is going to be mentally and physically healthier, but organizations need to be willing to engage in this healthy change. Data sharing from a patient’s Fitbit is going to be more of the norm.
The U.S. is treating healthcare differently now, and these trends will help us prepare for this change. It’s a unique opportunity for providers, hospitals, consumers, and organizations to change the face of healthcare for the better. By thinking about these consumer-centric approaches, we’re heading towards a revolution.