Amazon’s recent announcement about its foray into healthcare may have come as a surprise to some, but not those familiar with the evolution of healthcare. The rise of third party contractors, the decades long increase in the use of technology, and the shift in provider compensation for outcomes yielded rather than volume serviced have all paved the way.
What are obstacles to good health?
We know more now than we ever have about what makes us healthy. Why then do healthcare costs continue to rise? Some experts argue that beyond prohibitive costs, poor lifestyle choices and denial play a major role in rising rates of conditions that range from obesity and diabetes to mental and behavioral health.
Some providers are choosing to meet these obstacles with education around prevention. Analytics now provide key insights into whether patients are choosing to engage with articles and advice from the medical community. In addition, the rise of health centers where patients can access a variety of providers at once makes preventative care not only accessible, but more convenient.
Many employers have turned to wellness programs to incentivize employees to prioritize their health. In an interview with Rick Gonzalez, CFO of CommuniCare Health Centers in San Antonio, TX, he noted tremendous results after a push for wellness from senior management.
Leveraging leadership to ensure all stakeholders have access to the same messaging is key to moving from philosophy to practice.
What Does the Future Hold?
Two key areas to watch as the healthcare evolution continues are Senior Care and Behavioral Health. A growing senior population that is living longer means we need to have more conversations around legislation to ensure people have access to the care they need. Assisted living facilities which allow seniors to have continued access to peers and engaging activity may serve to meet some of the behavioral health needs often associated with elder care.
As more and more celebrities openly discuss their struggles with mental and behavioral health, the stigma around various conditions has decreased. However, more needs to be done to ensure that once identified, people have access to the care they need to be successful. There is room for increased education, a need for additional providers, and an urgency around legislation to ensure access to care is affordable for all.
To learn more about CommuniCare Health Centers or to be in touch with Rick Gonzalez, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on LinkedIn. This blog post is based off a podcast interview with Rick Gonzalez. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to Healthcare Simplified.