The healthcare industry has long been the topic of much debate, but it’s gained even more attention over the last couple of years thanks to crucial structural shifts and innovations. Most of us are aware of those significant changes, but what do you know about their underlying effects? These shockwaves are what really drives health care as a hot button issue among the public as more and more people realize that the rippling effect of healthcare reform will bring about new challenges.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why the healthcare industry continues to fuel debates and discussions alike.
An Evolving Industry
From the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the consumer-based healthcare movement, it’s clear that the health industry landscape, as we know it, will one day be unrecognizable. This rapid evolution is in and of itself a major talking point, and for good reason. All of these changes mean patients, insurance companies, health providers, companies, and everything in-between must work to adapt to the new face of the healthcare industry.
Competition among health providers is doing its part to elevate care quality across the board. More and more patients are starting to behave like consumers, prompting providers to up their game when it comes to patient care, while also pushing insurance agencies to offer better coverage.
As lawmakers continue to reform the healthcare system to more closely resemble any other competitive business market, consumers have more power than ever when it comes to their health. In turn, providers will have no choice but to raise levels of care to retain their patients.
Healthcare providers are racing to meet demands brought on by the increasing prevalence of digital health care, which is lending itself to the perpetuation of market competition. Digital services and content simplify and improve patients’ experiences, so much so that it’s turned into an expectation rather than an option.
We only need to look as far as the rocky release of the ACA’s website and the resulting uproar to see how important effective digitization is to the public. In order to keep up with patient demands, medical professionals must effectively utilize digital content, strategies, and services to secure patient loyalty and remain competitive.
Over the last few years, the number of decisions we have had to make about our health care has increased dramatically. There’s a lot of information out there, and we’re not always equipped to decipher it. We’re in desperate need of more transparency and health literacy.
Fortunately, many employers and lawmakers are taking steps towards providing employees and the public with all kinds of valuable healthcare education information, which is vital to helping them understand the ever-changing landscape. Patients are learning how to more effectively navigate the system in order to make better choices regarding their care and coverage.
We still have a long way to go before lawmakers and the healthcare industry reach a sound middle ground for reform. Until then, health care will continue to be scrutinized and discussed by consumers and healthcare professionals alike.
AARP.org, “When Health Care Providers Compete”
Mckinsey.com, “When and how provider competition can improve health care delivery”
PubMed.gov, “Low health literacy and health outcomes: an updated systematic review”