Healthcare is a broad, large topic that poses challenges for leaders in the industry as well as individual citizens and politicians. However, it is often up to the leaders of this field to tackle the issues at hand. In an exponentially developing industry, here are the challenges healthcare faces as it focuses on higher quality care.
Research has revealed that healthcare costs and spending often rise at a rate that exceeds inflation. New procedures, medicines, and the public’s increased attentiveness to their health all work in tandem to drive up costs. One of the main challenges leaders in the industry face is finding a way to bring those costs back down.
If you went to visit a sinusitis doctor, for instance, your cost could range anywhere between $100 to $5,000 based on your case before factoring in insurance. That’s a wide divide, and bridging the gap is an uphill battle as technology advances. There are many theories on how healthcare could become more affordable, but leaders in the industry are focusing on funding, grants, and contributors to help with the cost of staff as well as laboratories.
Politicians are continually changing the healthcare industry through new laws and reforms, most often reshaping the scope of how insurers must cover individuals. Revised standards from HIPAA to JCAHO mean a need for control programs, routine audits, and compliance training in order for healthcare providers to stay up to date. All of which, of course, drives up the cost of coverage.
With changes happening under every new president, healthcare leaders must actively engage and stay aware with regular information sharing to make the burden of change easier on the public. With a noticeable gap between a belief in necessary change and actual support for reform plans, getting everyone from citizens to politicians on the same page is a daunting but necessary task.
An Advancing Field
Technology and medicine are advancing at rapid rates, which is excellent for everyone involved. However, implementing those changes is easier said than done. Leaders expect this high-tech revolution to change how patients interact with healthcare professionals altogether, which is exciting yet challenging.
Instead of visiting the doctor’s office, researchers believe that patients will take part in virtual visits within the next decade. If you needed tinnitus remedies in southern California, for instance, you could simply hop online and speak with your primary care physician via your computer or smart device.
While this would potentially help drive healthcare costs down, it also comes with the need for added security. Strict privacy regulations in the digital realm are a must for any virtual patient-doctor interaction. The challenge is to implement these innovations in an affordable and safe way.
A Changing Industry
These are just a few of the critical challenges faced by the healthcare industry. Whether or not these issues will be fixed remains to be seen, but leaders in the field are actively working to make healthcare more affordable, of higher quality, and safer for the individual.