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5 Healthcare Industry Trends Happening in 2017

Following trends in the healthcare industry will help you better understand the political, medical, economical, and technological changes being used to support patient care and help cut operation costs.

The healthcare industry is continuing to become more stable and self-sufficient as the years go on. Inter-related industries such as banking, insurance, and healthcare vendors and suppliers will gain positive benefits from a lot of trends, but it’s the consumers who will benefit most from them. This is especially true when it comes to technology which will allow patients to easily lead better, healthier lives by use of their phones or tablets for online video consultations without ever leaving home.

  1. Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)

Payers and physicians believe MACRA will dramatically change the way providers will receive payments in America. Some concerns of MACRA include:

  • Providers not being aware of MACRA.
  • It’s challenging to extend the programs to rural and small practices.
  • The implementation of MACRA is difficult due to it being a 2400 page long comprehensive document.
  1. Affordable Care Act (ACA)

One of President Donald Trump’s top priorities is repealing and replacing Obamacare, although complete repeal of ACA may not be the best choice for many reasons such as not knowing:

  • What will happen to provisions such as being able to wave the pre-existing conditions clause?
  • Will children be covered under their parents insurance?
  • How many people will become insured or lose insurance?
  1. Costs

Medical cost growth is estimated to be 6.5% with prices continuing to be major drivers of healthcare costs according to PwC. An increase in the US economy is gaining greater inflation rates, affecting the labor-intensive health sector, increasing wages, and medical prices. Employers are looking at new cost containment strategies such as working with providers to help lower healthcare prices beyond increasing costs through high deductible plans.

  1. Biosimilars

Biosimilars are alternative drugs generated from living organisms, which can cause tiny differences each time batches of the medicine are made. Unlike generic drugs which are made by using the same formula to create a copy of another drug, the biological medicine people take may not be the same every time they take it. With drug prices continuing to rise, the adoption of biosimilars in the United States can open up the door for lower healthcare costs and better patient access.

  1. Empowerment with Wearable Technology

Often, patients are more likely to take over control of their health management when they are more aware of their conditions, allowing for better outcomes and lower cost of care. Combining a person’s data from a lifetime of medical records and putting their information into wearable devices by way of artificial intelligence (AI) as well as having experienced doctors and nurses, allows patients to receive information such as simple reminders, encouragement, or warnings over social media or through their smartphone apps.