As our healthcare model shifts from a medical to public health model, patient-centric care is becoming the new standard. Instead of focusing on diagnosis and treatment, providers are emphasizing prevention and health promotion in their practices, supporting the change to modern care management. The patient is no longer seen as voiceless; instead, patients are now consumers in the healthcare industry and demand to be heard.
Americans are connected more than ever before, and healthcare consumerism has accelerated with the recent boom in technology.
Millennials, aged 18 to 34, have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips and expect nothing less than on-demand, convenient services. The healthcare industry is no exception in the digital age that we live in.
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices allow users to stay connected on-the-go. This mobile revolution has undoubtedly shaped the healthcare revolution, and health management must continuously modernize to facilitate this transition. Both the healthcare professional and patient can leverage available resources in a manner best suited for continuous-care to meet individual healthcare needs.
The digital shift has given patients the tools necessary to research their own symptoms, best medical practices, and explore their options on their own time. Immense pressure has been placed on the medical industry to deliver high-value, high-quality care to enhance the patient experience. “Anywhere, anytime” healthcare has gained popularity through remote patient monitoring (RPM), where personalized health data and interactions prompted by the patient are at the center stage of care management.
A health system’s responsibility should extend beyond episodic care. With advances in technology, the U.S. government has also adapted and advanced. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) changed how much Medicare pays physicians for services furnished to program beneficiaries with the Quality Payment Program (QPP) by substantially linking payments to performance. Clinicians incentivizes physicians to participate in an APM (Advanced Alternative Payment Model) or MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System). MACRA opened the door for telehealth payments, especially for those practices that are looking and willing to expand their views of telehealth beyond video visits. One MIPS Improvement Activity that supports modern management is "use of telehealth services and analysis of data for quality improvement, such as participation in remote specialty care consults or teleaudiology pilots that assess ability to still deliver quality care to patients." Value-based medicine is replacing fee-for-service care, and hospitals and care providers should invest in digitalization and innovation to guide prevention to become the new norm.
Millennials are currently taking advantage of these healthcare technology services, and it’s almost certain that adults will as well. Research conducted by Pew indicates that between 2000-2016, the percentage of adults who use the internet increased by 70%. This healthcare transformation is increasing self-management, transparency, and overall patient satisfaction for both Millennials and the Baby Boomer generation. At the touch of a finger, healthcare consumers are able to remotely monitor their own health through the help of patient portals with connectivity to wearables, messaging abilities, medication reminders, and direct contact with their healthcare provider. Continuous care with a focus on self-management is the future of modern care. The backbone of modern care management is patient-centric. In order to achieve continuous care in the digital age, the healthcare industry needs to provide a technology platform to support the overall shift to telehealth. With the added support of a care team that focuses on the patient, the patient-centric experience is created. From Millennials to MACRA, the monitoring process hasunlimited potential, and healthcare consumers have the power at the fingertips.