New Healthcare Trends in 2016: How Will Your Career Be Affected?
By Doug Bennett, contributor
We know you’re a busy healthcare professional, so to help you stay abreast of the top healthcare trends, we’ve put together a list of the things that will impact you in 2016. Good news for allied health professionals: trends show that America’s healthcare landscape continues to expand in response to growing consumer demand for more affordable and accessible care.
TREND #1: Teeming with technology
The rapid evolution of technology in recent decades has enabled the development of a new generation of mobile medical tools and applications. This year, millions of health consumers will use their smartphones as diagnostic tools or for video consultations with care providers.
In this era of mobile medicine, opportunities for greater levels of patient participation abound. Connected wearable devices can now monitor blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels, sleep patterns, calories consumed or expended, and other health parameters, reducing the number of necessary clinician visits. Physicians are embracing more do-it-yourself (DIY) services, such as at-home urinalysis devices that can tell a physician whether or not a patient should be seen. And mobile apps already enable people to remotely manage their care or track and pay medical expenses.
TREND #2: Telemedicine takes off
Research reveals that telemedicine saves money for patients, providers and payers alike by helping reduce the frequency and duration of hospital visits. House calls and video consultations are on the uptick. And at the urging of federal and state government, many insurers, Medicaid managed-care organizations and Medicare Advantage plans are expanding their coverage and reimbursement of telemedicine-based services.
TREND #3: Clinics are popping up everywhere
Retail medical clinics already seem to be on every street corner, and consumers appear increasingly willing to pay out of pocket for the convenience. In addition, at least two major retail pharmacy chains have publicly announced plans to incorporate telemedicine-based services in their brick and mortar locations. Demand for employer onsite health services is also on the rise, with studies indicating nearly 70 percent of employers planning to offer telemedicine services as an employee benefit by 2017.
TREND #4: Mental health gains new focus
With nearly one out of five American adults experiencing a mental illness each year, the healthcare industry has begun to recognize the importance of mental health for employees and consumers. Mental illness is estimated to cost businesses more than $440 billion each year. Healthcare organizations and employers now consider expanding access to behavioral healthcare as a way to improve productivity and reduce costs.
TREND #5: Advanced practitioners on the rise
The recent emphasis on controlling costs and enhancing patient satisfaction, coupled with a severe shortage of physicians, is prompting more hiring of non-physician providers (NPPs). Increasingly, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are the primary face of medicine for a growing patient population. Some studies have shown patients receive faster service and are able to spend more time with a provider, increasing satisfaction. Physicians are able to relinquish some care duties to NPPs, and medical practices with NP and PA roles tend to perform better financially. Yet scope of practice debates between the professions are expected to continue.
UP NEXT… Bedless hospitals? Yes, you read that correctly. Find out about this popular trend and other innovations in 2016 by checking out Part Two of our healthcare trends overview next week.
Take Your Career to the Next Level
Club Staffing is here to put your allied healthcare career on track in 2016. Connect with a recruiter to find out what’s new; call (800) 875-8999 or request a call to get started in your job search.
© 2016. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.