Healthcare Market Trends to Follow in 2017

With an ever growing focus on providing affordable healthcare, an increasing number of products and providers are looking at ways to cut costs. The Affordable Care Act that President Obama championed and signed into law during his term was just the start of a huge push to bring medical care costs down with the intention of making it affordable to all. So far great strides have been made but efforts have not provided the much needed results. With this being an election year, next year will be the year to follow healthcare market trends because a new administration may have a totally different perspective. In the meantime, market analysts predict that there are at least three growing trends to watch in 2017.

Online Healthcare Education

While some might argue that online healthcare education would actually be categorized in a totally different market, that of education, others believe that the real focus is on affordable healthcare and providing professionals such as nurse practitioners who study for a DNP online degree at a cost much lower than by attending a brick-and-mortar educational institution. A doctor of nursing practice may have the honor of being called a ‘doctor’ but they are typically paid much less and their license qualifies them to take on much of the work a higher paid doctor would have to do. This is a growing trend in healthcare and that’s why online graduate schools are on the rise – truly a market trend to watch.

Technology

Perhaps the biggest market to follow in the healthcare arena is technology. With too few doctors and trained medical personnel and a growing number of boomers in need of regular care, wearables and associated technology is an emerging market that is on track to make a huge impact on the economy. A doctor of nursing practice can be apprised of that patient’s vitals via telecommunication (i.e. through a smartphone sending data to the clinic) and then decide whether that patient’s health is status quo or in need of being monitored in a clinic or hospital. The number of patients needing to be seen at already overbooked doctors’ offices and hospitals is decreasing by the day. Healthcare technology is saving taxpayers millions and providing better care for patients all at the same time.

Home Healthcare

The main objective of the Affordable Care Act is just that – providing affordable healthcare to anyone in need. With a single Band-Aid being known to cost upwards of $100 in some institutions, it’s a wonder how anyone affords a hospital visit! Home healthcare is said to cut institutional costs by at least 40% to 50%, if not much more in many cases, and patients can be monitored by RNs and DNPs without costing taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money. This is where it is wise to keep in mind that most boomers are on Medicare and as the hugest group needing care, the amount of money taxpayers put into a ‘broke’ fund makes this market all the more important to follow. Home healthcare is a growing trend and one that will surely explode in coming years. If you are not watching this market in 2016, next year will be the time to start!

There is no denying the fact that medical expenses are through the roof and often there is no money to cover them on any level. Private citizens, insurance companies and the government are unable to cover all necessary expenses and so that portion of the market that seeks to lower costs will get plenty of attention in coming years. Watch and see if nurse practitioners don’t take on bigger roles in years to come simply because of the savings they afford.