The continuing rise of healthcare premiums, copayments, and deductibles are not going away. Which means we can expect patients to seek ways to lower healthcare costs—such as choosing generic over prescription, only going to the emergency room for life-threatening situations, and considering a health savings account (HAS).
What many may not know are these 5 healthcare trends you are bound to see in the recent years. Read on to find out what they are, and how they are shaping the healthcare insurance market.
- The US Population is Aging
According the Harvard Business Review, in 1960 the median age for American men and women was 29.5. This number has now risen to 37.9 as of now. And, in the next 12 years, will increase to over 40 years old.
What this means is that the US has an aging population, which entails that more Americans will be seeking care and treatment.
The article goes on to state that the per capita annual health care cost averages around the $4,500-mark for those between 19 and 44 years old. This number double past in the 45-64 range. And, then quadruples past 65.
Despite these statistics, with an aging population, it may be too much for most Americans to afford healthcare costs as high those stated.
What could happen is that the healthcare insurance market could become more competitive, which means lowering prices. On the other hand, the opposite could be true, since healthcare would be more in demand. (Speaking of which, read more on Medicare.)
- Telemedicine Is Skyrocketing
Telemedicine—consulting with doctors and medical professionals via Skype or FaceTime—is only going to increase, as reported by Forbes.
Forbes goes on to mention that even in 2015, this trend was already predicted, with 80% of doctors polled stating telemedicine is a better way to managing chronic disease as opposed to the standard doctor visit.
Instead of patients having to get in their cars and physically drive to the doctor’s and sit in waiting lobbies, they can simply turn on their computer. This makes it much easier, Forbes states, for both doctor and patient to schedule appointments around their days. It also is a time and money saver.
- Doctors and Medical Professionals Need More Training…in Big Data
The world is relying more and more on technology, with the healthcare industry being no exception. Stanford Medicine reports that doctors and medical professionals will now not only need to be trained on the usual medical protocols and procedures but will need to know more about computers and analytics.
This makes sense, given that we are now seeing iPads more in medical settings, as well as the reliance on medical devices.
- Health Literacy Is on the Rise
Stanford Medicine also reports patients will be given more health information, as genetic testing and wearables have become commonplace.
This puts patient’s health in their own hands and allows them to have some sense of control.
- Patients Will Bring Their Own Data
Healthcare IT News reports that patients will be bringing in their own health information to appointments.
This could be in the form of several articles on a specific disease or condition, as well as their own personal medical stats recorded via an app on their phone. What this means is that doctors (and the healthcare industry as a whole) will need to be flexible and open to more data.
From these healthcare trends, it is safe to say that big data, an aging population, and the reliance on technology are making waves in the health industry. What other trends do you predict? Leave a comment.