Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Predictions for 2014: ACA, Combined with Social Media, will Improve Healthcare Quality, Cost and Access
A 2012 Consumer Reports investigation concluded that “[m]ore than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm this decade . . . . That’s like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It’s a manmade disaster."
The long-time practice of custom-based medicine in the United States may be partly to blame. National initiatives started by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obama care) are designed deal with this problem by moving the US to a contemporary, evidence-based model of medical practice. The evidence-based model of medical practice is grounded in empirical data created by clinical outcomes and effectiveness research. This empirical data can recommend the best treatment for a steadily increasing number of clinical disorders.
I predict that, in 2014, the US will see improvements in the quality of care and reductions in its cost as a result of ACA's push for evidence-based medical practice.
And consumers will flock to providers who offer better care at lower costs by relying on a rapidly growing number of new mobile apps for data-sharing and healthcare decision assistance. I predict that all major insurance companies will offer these smartphone-based tools.
Consumers are demanding transparency in all their transactions, they want it in health care now and they will be tweeting about where they are finding it and where they are not.
Thus, ACA, combined with new technologies and social media, will incentivize major changes in healthcare quality, cost and access starting in 2014.