The health care landscape is constantly in flux. Last year saw the emergence of several key trends, including big tech’s splashy entrance onto the scene and the rising popularity of virtual care, innovations that paved the way for new business models moving forward. There was also an embrace of value-based care by patients, providers and payers; many in the industry view it as a great opportunity to improve patient care while reducing costs. What trends will we see for health care in the coming year?
What to Watch For This Year
Experts agree that value-based care will continue to set the pace for changes in the health care industry in 2019. Specific trends to watch for include:
- The emergence of bipartisanship health care. Given the current political landscape this might feel like a longshot, but in 2019 Democrats and Republicans may be able to put aside their differences and work together to transform health care. A study by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal showed that health care was the top priority for voters in 2018, and with voter turnout at a record high for the most recent midterm election, it is in both parties’ best interests to work together and find a solution or risk the wrath of their constituents.
- Tech-enabled medical services will increase. Recent high-profile acquisitions, such as Anthem’s buyout of Aspire Health and Amazon’s purchase of pharmacy startup PillPack, show a growing willingness to embrace technological advances. Providers have traditionally been the ones promoting innovation, but the torch seems to have been passed to tech services, such as Aspire’s revolutionary clinical and claims-based patient models, which allow providers to take bigger risks for less money. Payers, in turn, will embrace and provide funding for additional innovation.
- Data will transform the decision-making process. The growth in technology geared toward the health care sector will transform the way clinical data is used, leading to better decision-making by clinicians in order to provide a better patient care experience.
- Payers will embrace technological innovation, too. A lot of investment dollars have been funneled into health insurance companies such as Bright Health and Devoted, whose use of data to provide a better patient experience at a lower cost is viewed as the future of health care. This is forcing established payers to take a more creative approach themselves in order to maintain a competitive edge.
- Private partnerships will increase. The aforementioned embrace of value-based care platforms will lead to more partnerships between private entities and health care providers, who will both benefit from the shared knowledge technical collaboration provides.