Four Health Care Trends That Will Shape 2015

As the social media manager at Healthwise, I constantly monitor what the health care industry is talking about and what new trends are emerging. Watching which topics are trending on Twitter or appearing most often in headlines can be very revealing. Here are four trends that I believe will most impact your organization in 2015.<br /> 1. Population ...

As the social media manager at Healthwise, I constantly monitor what the health care industry is talking about and what new trends are emerging. Watching which topics are trending on Twitter or appearing most often in headlines can be very revealing. Here are four trends that I believe will most impact your organization in 2015.

1. Population health

As the country continues down the path of payment reform by moving more toward value-based reimbursement vs. fee-fo-service, I have noticed an increased focus on population health. Instead of merely treating a patient’s symptoms when he or she comes into a hospital, organizations are looking to provide more longitudinal, engaged, coordinated care. News outlets and industry publications are posting articles on population health almost weekly, and in 2014, $1.1B was privately invested into this sector alone! For 2015, this means more population health solutions will hit the market to meet the increased demands.

2. Shared decision making

This year there are many factors that will push shared decision making (SDM) into the spotlight. More people are choosing high-deductible health plans, and so they will incur more of the cost burden of their own health care. Because of those costs, most people (including myself) will want to be more involved in health care decisions, and the demand for SDM will begin to bubble up from patients. SDM is already being incorporated into clinical guidelines and Medicare reimbursement regulations, and decision aids are now being integrated into state and federal policy (Washington State; the ACA section 3506. 2015 really could be the year where the push from policy and the pull from patients converge for SDM.

3. Mobile health

Mobile health could potentially address all three elements of the triple aim by communicating with people anytime, anywhere. Studies show that using text messaging and smartphone notifications to send health information and medication reminders results in increased medication adherence, engagement, and knowledge. And with increased adherence and engagement comes decreased costs! Wearable devices like the FitBit and other health monitoring apps will also play a big role in 2015. Health insurers and care management organizations are catching on to the potential impact of integrating these devices with their own systems. As the prevalence of health information technology continues to skyrocket in 2015, we will see more and more organizations taking advantage of the integration with apps, devices, and mobile communication for better care management.

4. Health behavior change

With more than 75% of health care costs attributable to chronic conditions, getting these conditions and costs under control will again be a focus in 2015. An emerging way to address these challenges is health behavior change. The foundation of behavior change lies in learning where people are in their change journey and offering them an experience that meets their needs and builds their confidence. While I know this concept is not new, the science and strategy behind it is just now being realized. Health behavior change will likely gain traction along with mobile health, as communication technologies will make it a feasible option for large-scale implementation. For organizations in charge of helping patients manage conditions, health behavior change will become a priority.

Source: www.healthwise.org