By Kim Bassett
As a hospital executive, I am both blessed and cursed with the responsibility to take a 20,000-foot view of the healthcare industry. It’s easy to get immersed in managing the details of a healthcare organization day-to-day, but these are some of the bigger questions about the future of healthcare that keep me up at night.
1. Who is going to care for our aging population?
Baby boomers are going to need healthcare, but there may be no one to take care of them. Boomers make up such a large proportion (76.4 million) of our population that things are becoming unbalanced very quickly. As Boomers age and require more and more medical care, the healthcare industry will struggle to find and keep a qualified workforce.
2. How are we going to pay for healthcare?
Everyone believes healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The business of healthcare is expensive. With the advancements in technology, the costs of healthcare continue to rise. These advancements result in strong competition among hospitals. Everyone wants to have the latest and greatest equipment. This equipment is incredibly expensive resulting in smaller hospitals being unable to compete with the larger hospitals. People with insurance or with money travel to the larger tertiary hospitals resulting in smaller, community hospitals providing a majority of their care to those with Medicaid or to patients that lack the ability to pay. How do we provide quality care to everyone when you have companies that provide healthcare to the wealthy, and others that are left to only provide care to the lower income? [Read more…]