Financial Experts Weigh in on Healthcare Trends and Challenges

Julie Shenkman
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The health care industry is constantly changing and facing new challenges as legislation is passed that affects medical facilities. Health care trends, though, often predict what is to come for this field, impacting both the care side of health care and the financial side. Stay on top of the technological advancements to ensure your medical facility is prepared for what the future holds for the industry.

Patient-Focused Care

Medical facilities and physicians have faced criticism in past years, which is why health care trends are putting patients as the primary focus. The health care industry is investing in ways to gauge patient satisfaction while also revamping goals and procedures to engage the clients. A renewed strategy to market medical facilities involves engaging with patients on social media as well as offering SEO-friendly websites that advertise services that cater to new and existing patients.

Data Security Procedures

Patient privacy is essential, which is why current and future health care trends continue to address data breaches and privacy issues. Medical providers continue to invest in security systems that protect patient information to not only safeguard their data but also avoid violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Emphasis on Analytics

Numbers are important in the health care industry, which is why administrators seek out data to guide their strategic plans and financial decisions. Health care trends show that unreliable data has lead medical facilities to adopt enterprise data warehouses to analyze patient and procedure data in real time. These technological advancements have been a significant factor in helping health care providers reduce costs, improve care, and build better relationships with patients and the surrounding communities.

Community Engagement

Medical organizations are recognizing the need to engage the community as ongoing health care trends, which is carried over from health care practices predicted in 2014 to provide more transparency. The need for affordable health care and assistance with preventative care has continued throughout 2015 and 2016, prompting medical facilities to host workshops, provide brochures and become an active voice in the community to better educate citizens about effective medical care and treatment. The ongoing education in local communities has assisted patients in making more informed decisions about their personal care.

Financial Concerns

Hospital CEOs are still concerned with their organization's financial status with significant changes in the health care industry, such as CMS mandates. However, updated payment systems by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is a positive step in predicting growth and expansion for these administrators facing personnel shortages and an increasing population in need of health management.

Health care trends are likely to vary by region and the population, but with continuing federal mandates affecting automatic payments, an increased emphasis on data security and a focus on patient care, health care facilities may be moving toward a brighter future and continued job growth to serve communities.

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