The Coming Disruptive and Transformational Changes in Health Care Delivery
There will be some very disruptive and some transformational changes in the way health care is delivered, not as a result of reform, but as a result of the drivers of change described previously.
There will be some very disruptive and some transformational changes in the way health care is delivered, not as a result of reform, but as a result of the drivers of change described previously. They included an aging population, an obese society, shortages of doctors, and emerging consumerism, among others.
But building new hospitals or new wings or renovations costs a lot of money. So does technology such as the electronic medical record, new CT or MRI scanners, and the needed technology for the operating rooms or radiation therapy equipment. To garner the required money, hospitals will need to access the capital markets. What will smaller hospitals do that have less ability to enter the credit markets? Merge with larger systems to get access to capital. So there will be more and more smaller hospitals merging into larger systems. Indeed there will be few stand alone community hospitals in the coming years. This is quite a disruptive change.
Another approach gaining rapid popularity is to switch to retainer based practices, sometimes called concierge or boutique practices. The basic concept is to limit one’s practice to 500 patients rather than the typical 2000 or more. This means more time per patient. So in return for a fixed fee of about $1500-2000 per year the PCP agrees to be available by cell phone 24/7 and by email. He or she will see you in the office within 24 hours of a call. You get as much time as needed for the problem at hand. And the PCP will visit you in the hospital, the ER or the nursing home – maybe even do a house call.