Consumer Demand and The Evolution of the Healthcare System

In 2016 – it’s all about the customer experience

The same is true, now more than ever, when it comes to the healthcare system. Thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act and a shifting Medicaid payment model, consumers are in the driver’s seat and the healthcare system, along with hospital management, is being driven by consumer demand. 

While some in the industry are thriving, others are feeling the pinch. Especially in rural regions of America.

How The Healthcare System is Changing

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance providers were in control. What doctors you were allowed to visit were very stringent and chosen by the insurance provider. Today, the consumer has a seemingly endless selection of options and more money to spend at the healthcare provider of their choice, while hospitals are being forced to cover more of the bill.

Traditionally, families had one primary care physician that they visited regularly. That is no longer the case, thanks to more specialized practices and the rise of urgent and low cost medical centers like Care Now.

In the rural regions of America, times are tough. Small hospitals, who generally operate at a minimal profit level, are being sunk by the new alternative payment mode. Nearly 700 were “vulnerable to closure” in 2015. Thus, there is a major shortage for healthcare providers.  

As an increasing number of nurses and physician assistants take on the role of doctor, there is still a serious need for practitioners and healthcare providers. Hospitals have also had to try new methods to recruit patients by reaching out by phone or email. 

The Customer Experience

In the past, doctors treated patients and were done with them until the next visit. The idea was volume not quality. Now, as doctors fight to differentiate themselves and provide top-notch healthcare operations, it is a much more managed experience overall. Doctors will go out of their way to be more involved and take proactive steps to ensure a satisfied patient outcome. 

It’s imperative for hospitals to consider cost-saving measures in every facet of the the medical supply chain, such as hospital waste disposal and the cost of medical equipment. 

In the end, consumers win because good health matters. Now it’s up to healthcare management to evolve or get left behind. 

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