Telemedicine reimbursement policies. Digital health investments. Value-based care. These are just a few of the trending terms in healthcare that physicians will have to pay attention to in 2024 and beyond.
This article will explore five of the biggest financial trends on the horizon in healthcare – and what physicians should know to keep their practices running smoothly and efficiently.
Trend 1: Telemedicine Reimbursement Changes
In the past, doctors received payment based on the number of in-person interactions with patients. But now, various insurance companies recognize telemedicine, its value and its convenience, thus adjusting their reimbursement rates accordingly.
There are great chances for telemedicine to expand because there aren’t enough primary care doctors in rural and outlying areas. Additionally, the population is getting older, and millions of newly insured Americans are due to the Affordable Care Act. According to a report from 2021, the global telemedicine market was valued at $40.20 billion in 2020. It is projected to reach $431.82 billion by 2030, with a steady annual growth rate of 25.9% over the next decade.
Doctors who embrace and incorporate telemedicine into their practice will likely experience an increase in their income. This is because they will be able to connect with more patients within a shorter period.
There are also some challenges associated with telemedicine changes.
- Doctors must meet all requirements set forth by insurance companies to receive reimbursement for telemedicine services.
- Some doctors may struggle to transition from traditional practice models to incorporating telemedicine into their workflows. It requires adapting to new technologies and finding ways to communicate effectively with patients virtually while still providing quality care.
Trend 2: Value-Based Care Compensation
Value-based care is a new model that has been presented recently. The primary objective of this model is to focus on providing high-quality healthcare and not just the quantity of services. Moreover, this model emphasizes preventive care, early diagnosis and screening, effective management and proper rehabilitation.
The expansion of value-based health care is expected to quicken. The value-based healthcare industry has grown rapidly, from an estimated $500 billion in enterprise value to a potential $1 trillion as the landscape develops.
However, to survive in this new world of advanced healthcare models, doctors must be open to adding technology and new data analytics into their practices.
Trend 3: Digital Health Investments
The healthcare business has seen growth in digital health companies and funding. This trend will create exciting opportunities for doctors to enhance patient care and generate larger revenues.
Global investment firm GSR Ventures recently polled healthcare technology investors to get their thoughts on the future of digital health investments. The numbers indicated that the value of these assets, according to the investors’ estimates, is between $15 billion and $25 billion.
The poll highlights three emerging themes in digital health investment:
- Clinical validation of a technology’s platform and a high return on investment will be the most important metrics for digital health startups to focus on in the coming years.
- In 2023, investors predict a decline in values of 20-40% from the Series A and B stages compared to their respective prices at the seed stage.
- Investors ranked cancer (51%), mental health (37.3%), neurology (27.5%), and primary care (23.5%) as the most promising areas for medical businesses.
Medical professionals may expand their knowledge base by participating in digital health companies. It is said that doctors can be really good medical entrepreneurs because they are intelligent, cooperative and understand their field well. The world stands to benefit from their expertise and insight. Doctors who make early investments in innovative enterprises may benefit financially while simultaneously advancing the state of healthcare.
Trend 4: Increased Healthcare Costs
A greater rise in healthcare expenses is anticipated in 2024 than in the previous two years owing to persistent labour shortages, rising prescription prices, and new contracts between payers and providers.
Health plans’ modeling of inflationary cost implications from contracted healthcare providers and continuous double-digit pharmacy trends driven by specialty medications are contributing factors, says a new analysis from PwC.
The primary factor driving the revised downward revision of PwC’s 2022 medical cost prediction for the group market from 6.5% to 5.5% is the trend toward less expensive alternatives to inpatient hospital settings, including outpatient and ambulatory surgery facilities.
Hospitals must raise wages and seek greater reimbursement from payers in 2023-24 due to inflation and ongoing clinical labor shortages.
PwC predicts that inflation and its effects on the healthcare sector will be the primary drivers of expenditure in 2024.
Trend 5: Digital Transformation in Healthcare Billing
Gone are the days of relying on paper-based systems prone to errors and delays. Modern physicians may benefit from automating their billing operations with technology, which improves accuracy and efficiency. Medical professionals may benefit from various aids, including electronic health record (EHR) systems and specialist medical billing software. These resources are tailored to the individual requirements of medical professionals.
By adopting these digital technologies, doctors may save time and increase revenue. It’s much easier for them to make claims and be paid back.
With automated coding assistance features, they can ensure accurate coding for procedures and diagnoses – minimizing errors that could result in claim denials or delayed payments.
As we look forward to the year 2024, it’s evident that doctors are encountering various trends and changes that have the potential to greatly affect their financial stability. Doctors who embrace these trends will strategically benefit from improved patient care outcomes and enhanced financial stability. Physicians can thrive in this ever-changing environment and provide excellent patient care by effectively using technology and adjusting their practices accordingly.