Healthcare Trends That Are Affecting Medical Practices
Today’s modern healthcare system is revolving around increased consumerism practices and business tactics. In the midst of all this, physicians are facing unique challenges to balance patient care while addressing business priorities.
Here are the top healthcare trends today that are affecting medical practices:
1. Increase in Medical Consumerism
It is safe to say that the new decade has given rise to the era of consumerism. Today, urgent care centers and retail medical centers are becoming immensely popular throughout the U.S. Today most physicians are practicing in smaller setups to ensure maximum doctor to patient interaction. Some are tackling increased consumer demand by extending practice hours, opening emergency clinics and introducing electronic health care records. Because most insurance companies in the U.S provide coverage to these small set ups, these tiny medical facilities actually pose a competition to other larger outlets.
2. Regulatory Uncertainty
With the recent regulatory reforms, which were made in an attempt to provide affordable and quality health care, the issue of charging penalties on reporting quality standards and electronic record keeping has arose. In response to this, many physicians are postponing the idea of expanding, selling and participating in the new patient medical centers supported by the law.
3. Soaring Competition for Skilled Personnel
Physician practitioners are looking into hiring non-physician staff workers, thus increasing the demand and competition for candidates specializing in a wider array of jobs. This strong demand has increased the no. of physician assistants up to 40% and reduced the ranking of nurse practitioners to no.3. Technology and online medical services have also diverted a huge chunk of patients towards other retail medical centers. It is helpful in the sense that staff lag or logjam can be prevented, and has given the physician the opportunity to increase their working hours and maximize patient burden in an attempt to make more money.
4. Practices for Sale
Rising financial costs and increasing burden, some physicians are selling their practices to hospitals and larger practice centers to shift all the focus on optimum patient care. Some physicians are still preferring to keep their practice but find not getting a decent price for the services they are providing. On the contrary, some doctors are selling their practices to private equity firms in order to keep their ownership.
5. The Tech Revolution
While technological advancements have revolutionized the health care world, it also has a few setbacks of its own. Hiring staff that can use electronic medical records, integrating systems and also more staff for running the facility are to name a few. In the future, we expect artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing to rise and play a significant role in various surgical and radiological practices and decision making.
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While increasing costs, increasing technological advancements and medical consumerism are some of the challenges modern physicians face, it is noteworthy how the most skilled doctors will find ways to bring value to their practice in the face of these difficulties.