Report: Wearables, Price Transparency and "DIY Healthcare" Among Top Trends for 2015
The $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare sector will soon begin acting like a “true market” as the proliferation of consumer-based approaches and devices continues and as newly-insured customers enter the system, according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual top health industry trends for 2015. The report outlines what is sees as the top 10 issues for 2015, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers and industry leaders.
A tidal wave of innovation is going to affect health care. Increased cost responsibility means we’re becoming financially invested in seeking out better, lower-cost care. The results are going to be profound in 2015 and beyond. Here are five predictions for how your health-care involvement will change.
Big, New Trend in Health Care: Telling Patients How Much Their Care Will Cost
In a push for health care cost transparency that came along with the Affordable Care Act, more and more hospitals and health systems are starting to implement cost estimators to reduce confusion when patients try to understand how much they'll be paying for a medical service. Instead of listing estimated prices for standard procedures on a website for all patients across the board, hospitals now offer cost estimates that take into account a patient's insurance plan, how much of the deductible the patient has paid already and what procedure or service they will receive.
How can Americans get better health care for less money? There's a quiet experiment going on among primary-care physicians, and the results are intriguing. The idea is deceptively simple: Pay frontline doctors a fixed monthly fee directly instead of through the byzantine insurance bureaucracy. Make the patient, rather than the paperwork, the focus of the doctor’s day. The result will be happier doctors, healthier patients and a striking reduction in wasted expense.
The 2014 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates finds that CDHP enrollees were more cost conscious in their decision making than those in traditional plans. In addition, CDHP enrollees were more likely to take advantage of various wellness programs. In addition, financial incentives mattered more to CDHP enrollees than to traditional-plan enrollees.