You may not actually work in the healthcare industry but you: (a) have been, are, or will be a patient, (b) you presumably are a taxpayer, and (2) 20% of your country’s GDP goes to healthcare. I believe it’s called having a vested interest.
No one knows with any precision where healthcare is going. Heck, this very day the Supreme Court is trying to decide the very consitutionality of healthcare reform that is so massive in scope and complexity that it makes my brain groan.
Take two aspirins and call in the morning? No. Develop scenarios, think them through, commit to one but stay flexible? Yes. That’s what I’m in the midst of doing. And that’s why I need your help.
Here are summaries of four plausable scenarios for the future of healthcare. They were developed by the Institute for Alternative Futures. I would appreciate it if you would read them and vote for the one you believe most likely to emerge by 2025. I know they are dramatically abridged and may overlap. You can vote and comment below.
Scenario 1: Many need, many models – Things will not change much from how they are today. There will be physician shortages, increased emphasis on prevention, expansion of electronic medical records, and increased disparity in care based on income and region.
Scenario 2: Lost decade, lost health – There will be more uninsured people both unemployed and employed. Generally, peoples’ health will deteriorate. Patients with good insurance will have access to great care enhanced by advanced technology.
Scenario 3: Primary care that works for all – Americans will enjoy nearly universal health care coverage, with 85% of patients using integrated systems staffed by teams of providers, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners and health coaches who work closely with patients.
Scenario 4: I am my own medical home – Many people will have catastrophic insurance with high deductibles. Savvy consumers will use advanced technologies including noninvasive biomonitors and health management apps to stay healthy. Most people will shop for the best doctor and buy on the basis of quality and price.