The advent of technology and a patent-centric business model has been two of the biggest trends throughout 2018. Without a doubt, key trends that will influence the dynamics of healthcare for 2019 will ride piggyback on these two primary influences. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and process automation will soon be industry standards at one end of the spectrum. At the other end, medical practices will move away from offering what clearly was a Hobson’s choice for patients, when it came to treatment, by giving them the power to choose only what is best suited for their situation.
The Top Predictions for 2019 for Healthcare
With existing industry trends, a patient pays a significant chunk of the cost of treatment, despite being backed by insurance. In 2019 patients will be willing to explore their options based on their financial strength to seek the best possible treatment. This is the cue for medical practitioners to put in efforts to adapt to the consumer centric trend that will get stronger as the year progresses.
- Practitioners will strive more to achieve greater patient satisfaction
- Providers will take patient friendly approach to communicate
- Patients will be offered greater freedom of choice
Growth of AI and Machine Learning in Healthcare Industry
From revenue cycle management processes to core medical treatment workflows, AI and self-learning systems will play central roles in the industry. AI systems that will learn user patterns, preferences and medical updates will improve productivity and operational efficiency of various aspects of the industry. All resource intensive and repetitive tasks like maintenance of health records, appointment booking, billing management and medical claims management will be more streamlined, thanks to the efficiency of AI. Doctors will soon begin to receive assistance from AI-driven systems with diagnosis, development of prognosis and administration of treatment. There are already existing advanced level proof of concepts of robots performing delicate surgeries on the human body. Just think of what else AI is capable of!
- Artificial Intelligence will lead the charge and make its way into almost every aspect of administration, research and development and more
- Machine Learning will be used for improved drug management, diagnosis and treatment, and enhancing patient experience
Value Based Purchasing
As a medical practitioner, you need to brace yourself for a drastic change that will come in the form of value based purchasing. It is going to be all about the quality of your treatment since the spending power of the patient is going to play a pivotal role in them choosing your service over your competitor. You need to rethink your treatment model. Alongside, you need to include cost-saving factors to stay profitable. In other words, your treatment model must assure the patient of value for money.
- Practitioners will need to conform to value based expectations of the patient
- The patients ability to decide where to receive high quality health care solutions at cheaper prices will be a key differentiating factor
- Medical practices will be banking more on technology to recover costs and streamline their business model
Increased Importance of Medical Billing
The importance of maintaining well coded medical records and improving the accuracy of claims management is set to play a major role in healthcare. As a matter of fact, its importance is bound to be so impactful that having an efficient medical billing process would give a medical practice a competitive edge. With patient access set to become a central aspect of good customer service, you would now need to push for close to 100% accuracy in medical billing and coding if you are to retain the good will of your patients. An accurate and highly efficient medical billing process will cement your reputation as a customer centric business practice.
- Investing in systems with inbuilt automation will be a necessity
- Transparency and accountability will play a major role in customer retention
- Changing healthcare regulations and the growing risk management will force providers to bank more on outsourcing
Growing Influence of Technology
The increased dependency on technology will goad companies to embrace technology. Innovative technology such as voice based chatbots, HIPAA compliant voice activated applications will find many takers in 2019.
- Blockchain will be increasingly used for digital record-keeping as it is transparent and impossible to tamper with.
- Voice technology in healthcare will emerge stronger than expected. In 2018, 20% of Google searches were voice searches. This is set grow and double.
- More providers will gyrate towards chatbots to provide their customers a more personalized experience.
- Virtual Reality will play a major role in live streaming surgeries and rendering addiction therapy
Inclusion of Private Insurance Models as an Industry Standard
Private and customized insurance will see a significant growth in the total number of adoptions from customers. The personalized experiences and the reduced cost incurred by policy holders in receiving treatment will be the two biggest advantages that private insurance models provide. As patients begin to understand what they need from a medical treatment in vivid detail there will be an increased demand for these private insurance companies.
- Medical practices will have to deal with private insurance companies to receive reimbursement and liaison with multiple insurance providers for the receipt of claims.
- Convergence and collaboration between health systems and health plans will become more important
You can create an effective strategy to adapt to these trends only with a comprehensive understanding of their impact on the business model of your medical practice. Adapting to these key trends will help you establish your presence over your competitors.