Despite the notable development in medical technology, the healthcare industry in the Northeast continues to face challenges. There have been various efforts by stakeholders, including the government to improve the sector but little has since been achieved. More still needs to be done to address the ever increasing and dynamic problems that are at the heart of our healthcare system. Some of the most pertinent issues that need addressing include:
The past decade has seen a lot of turmoil in the name of healthcare reform. Well intentioned or not, The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) passed through its fair share of storms before being enacted. The resulting increased patients seeking healthcare has put a lot of pressure that local healthcare administrators are sweating over. However, the new administration’s plan to completely overhaul the Act, and bring in new “better” reforms does leave room for huge uncertainty as to the implications of the same. With these uncertain times comes panic amongst every stakeholder, and lingering questions of what lies ahead.
2. Insufficient Reform
For all the talk of reforms and new reforms to replace previous ones, healthcare, in Northeast is still facing challenges due to lack of proper reforms. Systems are poorly designed and require proper integration across the sector. Physician groups might be growing but practicing physicians still prefer to run their own 1-2 person practices. The net effect of this is a highly decentralized system. Unfortunately, reforms to create adequate structures and help coordination are yet to be put in place. The resulting disorganization continues to be costly, losing not only money but also lives that could have been saved with more efficiency and less error-prone system.
3. Insufficient Funding
One of the challenges facing healthcare in Northeast is inadequate funding. The Affordable Health Care Act has also contributed to this. The reform has brought about increased patient numbers without the proportionate increase in healthcare practitioners. Consequently, there has been increased strain on the health system. Additionally, the reluctance in uptake of the social insurance cover has forced Federal Governments to fund the scheme. Vermont has been especially hit with the state having to urgently look for more money to cover healthcare in its jurisdiction.
4. Rising Drug Costs
According to a report by Moody’s Investor Service, the entire healthcare system, drug shortages and consolidation by pharmaceutical companies will lead to higher drug prices in post-2016. To manage this, hospital managers will need to show negotiating skill in leveraging for better prices for their hospitals. Leveraging on size and other advantages of scale will be necessary to counter the price increase and drive up discounts.
5. Growing Patient Consumerism
Due to increased access to health information through the Internet, more patients want to be actively involved in the management of their illness. Research shows a majority of patients wish to view their laboratory results online as well as charts that monitor their chronic conditions. Unfortunately, these requests haven’t yet caught on with healthcare practitioners. Many patients in the Northeast still express disappointment and frustration at being unable to participate more in care systems they are part of. Substantial shortcomings still exist including lack of proper understanding between physicians and their patients due to insufficient information sharing.
Every challenge represents an opportunity to do things differently. With The Great Northeast, the challenges to healthcare should be seen as nothing more. These challenges facing the healthcare industry in the Northeast represents opportunities by the next generation of heath managers to do things differently.