28 Apr Health Care Predictions for the Future
The Shift in Healthcare
In a recent Forbes magazine article, Sachian H. Jain, a healthcare professional with an extensive
career in the industry detailed his predictions for the healthcare industry for the coming year.
Two of his predictions included the push for more home-based healthcare and the trend in
patients shifting toward physicians groups over hospitals. The reason for the shift comes down to
the more personalized and patient-centered care found in home-based care. Patients feel this
approach allows for more interactive care that better suits their schedules and well-being.
He also predicted that mental health disorders and substance abuse would become a focus in the
coming year. Ever since more prominent public figures have come forward to share their own
challenges with mental health and dealing with it, the negative connotation mental disorders have
had in the past has de-escalated. Medical groups, says Jain, are going to put more effort into
diagnosing and treating them. Only recently have some disorders–such as bipolarism,
depression, and anxiety–become better understood and today, professionals are better able to
treat and diagnose, and patients can expect more productive outcomes.
Trends in Mental Health
Two large corporations, Dell and Delta Airlines, are following the trend in bringing mental
health to the center stage. According to a Newspaper article written by Rachel Feintzeig, about a
third of large corporations that employ 5,000 or more employees around the country are
beginning to initiate their own solutions to deal with employees’ mental health. The companies
plan to have in-house counseling available for those employees who might require it. Counseling
will come at no cost to the employee, including any medications that may be prescribed by the
therapist. If an employee requires more than eight hour-long counseling sessions, the employee
will be referred outside the company.
These organizations believe that mental health is a key to improving employee performance. But
another reason for this trend is that the younger generations are more open about their mental
health struggles and are living in a time when mental health is more prevalent in healthcare.
Healthcare Alternatives for Consumers
Another especially exciting prediction Jain made is the role large organizations will play in the
healthcare market. Jain says to expect to see corporations like Walmart and Best Buy offer some
inexpensive products and services such as medicine or cheaper clinics, in an attempt to offer
their customers cheaper alternatives to medicine and medical care. The only downside to the
emersion of more affordable options is the possibility of those corporations exiting the market
after a short time, leaving customers having to decide where to go next.
Jack Leonard is a consultant for Prosper Beyond and a senior at Appalachian State University in
Boone, North Carolina. He is a Healthcare Management major.