Ever wonder how we’re going to improve health care? It’s not exactly the cheeriest subject to discuss when chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer are among the leading causes of death. But maybe a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” can help.
Walt Disney could have been speaking on behalf of health care when he said, “I believe in being an innovator.” But just 90 years after he and his brother Roy produced the first in a series of avant-garde animated films, his legacy was falling behind.
The solution: “A sweeping plan to overhaul the digital infrastructure of Disney's theme parks, which would upend how they operated and connected with consumers.”
Health care isn't exactly Disney. But some of the same principles apply:
- Consumer focus
- Mergers and acquisitions
Prediction 1: More focus on the patient experience
Despite continued uncertainty about the future of the healthcare delivery system in the United States, the concept of value-based care will continue to be its heartbeat.
In the words of Fortune magazine author Clifton Leaf, value is “the one idea to rule them all.”
Fee-for-service is the payment model many organizations are using. But the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) continues to put “a strong focus on patient-centered care” in their value-based 2018 payment structure. Reimbursements are aimed at helping healthcare providers “direct their time and resources to patients and improve outcomes.”
Think of it like Disneyland creating a better experience for its guests.
Prediction 2: More innovation, efficiency, restructuring
A patient-centered, value-based focus will bring more innovation and efficiencies to the industry, as well as some more restructuring. Look for 2018 to bring:
- Creative use of technology
- In-house mental health programs
- Emphasis on financial wellbeing and work-life balance
- Expansion of digital medicines
- Development of more sophisticated electronic health record systems
- Streamlined communication between healthcare providers
- Alternative healthcare delivery methods, such as telehealth and micro-hospitals
- Organizational mergers and partnerships
- Healthcare bankruptcy filings
- Renewed interest in population health management
Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway sent shockwaves through the healthcare sector when they announced plans to form a new healthcare company. No doubt there are more changes on the near horizon.
What’s that kind of company going to look like? It’s hard to say just yet, but the buzz is already on par with Disney’s Star Wars Land set to open in 2019.
Prediction 3: More partnerships to achieve population health objectives
As health care struggles with value-based, patient-centered care, many executives and practitioners consider population health strategies of promoting health and preventing disease essential to their survival. Lifestyle medicine principles will become increasingly important as health insurers and providers attempt to keep members healthier.
The future of population health combines simple principles of healthy living with innovative approaches:
- Crowd sourcing for Alzheimer's
- Insurers partnering with community organizations for diabetes prevention
- Mental health interventions online
- Enhanced engagement with Artificial Intelligence
Lifestyle medicine helps practitioners deliver optimal outcomes among their populations. Innovative approaches can boost efficiency and effectiveness.
And in a climate of uncertainty, maybe a Disney-inspired approach to improve the patient experience is just what we need to improve population health and wellness.
Ready to start creating a culture of health at your organization? We have you covered.