2018 was a year of change in the healthcare industry. Diverse groups of technologies began to enter the doctor-patient arena, and quickly shaped the way we practice healing. Blockchain technologies were investigated, Artificial Intelligence went mainstream for imaging diagnostics, and cyberattacks in the healthcare industry doubled. That’s a lot of change for one year!

So where are we heading in 2019?
Organizations like Kindred Healthcare and Forbes create annual predictions about where they see the future of healthcare going. Understanding these lists can provide greater insight into what businesses and companies should be focusing on with their employees and audiences and how to improve financial performance in 2019.

Prediction 1: Blockchain technology will begin to have real, commercial implementations.
In 2018, Blockchain technology was perceived to have an application in the healthcare industry. Now, in 2019, we know that it does. Organizations are looking to see how and where this kind of technology can fit into their operations. This early commercial deployment will demonstrate initial return on investments (ROI) across various B2B focused initiatives. Forbes predicts that by the end of 2019, anywhere between five percent and ten percent of healthcare-focused enterprise blockchain applications will move from being in a pilot stage to being used with limited commercial capacity. This kind of operational change can play a significant role in how hospitals, pharmaceutical agencies and other healthcare offices function.

Prediction 2: Global healthcare spending will be tied into Value-Based healthcare.
In Value-Based healthcare, providers, physicians and hospitals make profit based off of the outcome and health of their patients, not the number of patients they see during a given workday. This system of healthcare is often based on many factors. Some of which include overall health, reduced diagnosis of chronic disease and the ability to live at home independently. Providers will need to continuously reshape their care delivery models to improve patient satisfaction, while reducing the number of hospital stays. In 2019, we are sure to see more programs focused on engagement as well as apps, technology and health literacy programs that strive to educate a patient on their condition or care.

Prediction 3: Digital Healthcare will begin to have a stronger presence in the industry.
Have you ever been in a situation where leaving your home to go to a doctor’s appointment may have been more trouble than it was worth? Maybe due to a snowstorm or car troubles? In 2019, Telemedicine will make an emergence and some of those issues will become obsolete. Telemedicine is used by various healthcare providers to assess and treat patients not living near their office. This system can also be used to reduce time waiting in a waiting room for matters of less urgency. Another aspect of digital healthcare that will breakthrough is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Healthcare experts believe that AI will be a game changer in areas relating to diagnostic imaging, drug discovery and risk analytics applications. By the end of 2019, it is expected that funding for digital health practices will grow by 30%.

Prediction 4: Focusing on the aging population will be the key to a successful ROI.
Did you know that 2050 will be the first time ever that the Census Bureau predicts people 65 and older will outnumber those 18 and younger? On top of that, Medicare enrollment is anticipated to grow by almost 50%. That’s about 30 million more people than enrolled today! With senior citizens beginning to develop chronic conditions at an increasing rate, healthcare providers – including insurance agencies – will need to begin strategizing how to effectively manage this population. One possible solution is to invest in “silver” architecture. We’ve heard about companies “going green” but what does it mean to “go silver”? Silver designs focus on improving the quality of life for aging populations. These designs can be well-lit, quiet, easily accessible, or safe to navigate with assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers.

All of these new changes and challenges will inevitably affect a healthcare organization’s bottom line. As new generations demand transparency and health care pricing information, this rising trend and load is time-consuming for organizations. It’s essential that you have the resources and staff in place to stay ahead and capture as much revenue as possible during these transformational times. If you are ready to make 2019 the most fiscally responsible year yet, schedule an appointment with a reliable debt collection agency that can help you improve your accounts receivable process and free up your time so you can focus on the evolving changes in healthcare. Our employees speak to hundreds of consumers each day with the goal to motivate those who can pay their balance in full while providing an empathetic customer-focused approach. Finance System, Inc. is highly trained in effective negotiation, counseling, full-regulatory compliance and collection software. We will recover what you are owed with persistence and proven collection techniques, but you will never worry that your reputation is at stake. If you are ready to learn more and make this your most fiscally-fit year yet, contact us here to get started.