Happy New Year, one and all! I hope that it’s a healthy one for you.
- Obamacare will move ahead. Despite 2 different hearings before the Supreme Court and dozens of repeal challenges, the Affordable Care Act stands.
- Medicine will enter the era of ‘Big Data.’ Anyone seen those TV ads for ‘Optum,’ (to name just one big data player)? We are already here.
- Big data will lead to targeted medical marketing. This wasn’t even a prediction. It’s already been happening for years.
- Greater price transparency will come to health care. Not really close to cracking this nut, but a lot (a ton!) of attention is now focused this way.
- By 2020, all states will have expanded Medicaid. We are already to 30 states plus the District of Columbia. More on the way.
- The number of uninsured will be cut in half within four years. Not quite there yet, but the number of uninsured is the lowest since 1972.
- The number of NPs and Physician Assistants will continue to grow, as will the field of community health workers. Yes and yes.
- We will see the first nationwide health plans. Yes — the key word here is consolidation — insurers, hospitals, etc.
- Finally, a continuous doctor-patient relationship will become a luxury that can be purchased. Everything keeps pointing in this direction.
I’m giving myself a solid seven out of nine this year, up one from last year — and the remaining two predictions are also likely to prove true over time.
One area not covered here that will continue to see explosive growth: Telemedicine. It’s the Wild West. Which company will emerge as a market leader? Stay tuned.