In the last few decades, there have been significant changes to the US healthcare delivery systems. The predominant fee-for-service payment model, where providers are paid based on the quantity of services and procedures, has contributed to fragmented, costly, and inefficient care. However, new delivery models and value-based payment arrangements are spreading rapidly.
Integrated delivery systems bringing together hospitals, physicians, and other providers are becoming more common. More focus is on managing populations and keeping people healthy, not just delivering reactive sick care. Payment models now reward providers based on quality of care and patient outcomes.
Other industry trends like digital health, analytics, and consumerism also transform healthcare. Patients are demanding convenience, price transparency, and customized experiences.
By 2024, the healthcare system will likely bear little resemblance to the one that existed at the start of the 21st century. This guide by Apollo Couriers examines the most important delivery system changes expected over the next few years. It provides an in-depth look at the future of how healthcare will be accessed, coordinated, paid for, and improved across the United States.
- 1 Prevalence of Value-Based Care Models
- 2 Telehealth Expansion
- 3 Artificial Intelligence Applications
- 4 Focus on Social Determinants of Health
- 5 Consumerism and Transparency
- 6 Care Coordination and Integration
- 7 Workforce Evolution
- 8 Personalized and Precision Medicine
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 10 Conclusion
Prevalence of Value-Based Care Models
The healthcare system in 2024 will see a continued shift away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based care models that focus on patient outcomes rather than the volume of services.
By 2024, value-based payment arrangements are expected to be the norm for healthcare organizations. Value-based approaches have been adopted by government programs as well as private insurers. The number of providers participating in value-based contracts will likely double from 2018 to 2024. This growth indicates the increasing buy-in to value-based care principles incentivizing higher quality care at lower costs.
The shift towards value is driven by unsustainable healthcare spending growth under fee-for-service models, which reward volume over value. Value-based care aims to curb costs while improving patient outcomes through care coordination, preventive care, and engaging patients in their health. As value-based arrangements become more widespread in 2024, they will change how providers are reimbursed and how care delivery is structured across the healthcare system.
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring platforms are rapidly growing and are expected to become standard components of healthcare by 2024.Through text messaging, phone conversations, and video chat, patients and clinicians can communicate during virtual visits. This makes it possible to provide care remotely, improving patient convenience and accessibility.
According to recent projections, the telehealth market in the U.S. will exceed $130 billion by 2025. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated telehealth adoption across demographics as many turned to virtual care to avoid exposure risks. As telehealth becomes normalized, utilization is expected to remain high post-pandemic. Healthcare organizations have invested heavily in telehealth infrastructure and capabilities.
RPM obtains patient health data outside of clinical settings by using digital technologies. In between visits, this enables medical professionals to monitor vital signs, symptoms, and more. This allows providers to track vitals, symptoms, and more between visits. RPM improves outcomes through early intervention and enables population health management. Patient-generated health data further empowers individuals in managing chronic conditions.
While some regulatory restrictions were eased during COVID-19, advocacy continues around telehealth reimbursement parity, licensing regulations, and privacy protections. Telehealth is projected to become a healthcare standard, improving access and transforming care delivery models.
Artificial Intelligence Applications
By 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) will be used more frequently in the healthcare industry to support physicians and expedite administrative duties. Machine learning algorithms will increasingly help analyze patient data, aiding in diagnostics and enabling more personalized care plans.
Specifically within clinical settings, AI applications can help detect anomalies in imaging scans, analyze laboratory results, and parse unstructured clinical notes. Natural language processing techniques can extract key data from doctors’ notes and electronic health records. This facilitates better documentation and allows clinicians to spend more face time with patients.
AI-assisted robotic surgery will also gain adoption, helping surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures precisely. Algorithms can integrate data from pre-operative scans and guide tiny surgical instruments for increased accuracy and smaller incisions.
For patients, AI chatbots and virtual assistants will be commonly used. These tools can understand natural language, answer health-related questions, take basic information, and schedule appointments. This provides an automated self-service option for patients to access basic care needs.
On the administrative side, AI will handle tasks like medical billing, insurance claims processing, and scheduling. By automatically managing these time-intensive workflows, AI enables health systems to optimize operations. This allows clinicians and staff to devote more attention to direct patient care.
Overall, the proliferation of AI aims to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care, reduce costs, and alleviate clinician burnout. By 2024, AI will become an indispensable asset across healthcare administration, diagnostics, treatment, and patient engagement. Its intelligent capabilities will enhance decision-making, personalization, and efficiency.
Focus on Social Determinants of Health
By 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) will be used more frequently in the healthcare industry to support physicians and expedite administrative duties.
As a result, healthcare organizations are expanding initiatives to understand social determinants and partner with community organizations to address issues like food insecurity, transportation barriers, pollution, and housing instability.
In 2024, screening for social determinants will be a standard practice. Electronic health records will integrate socioeconomic data and referral platforms to connect patients to community resources. Health systems are establishing departments focused on community health and investing in affordable housing projects. Partnerships between medical and social organizations will provide holistic care coordination. Addressing social determinants is crucial to reducing health disparities and improving population health, especially for disadvantaged populations. While social determinants programs require long-term investment, the potential for healthcare savings and health improvements makes this a key trend for 2024.
Consumerism and Transparency
In 2024, patients will increasingly demand affordable, accessible, and transparent healthcare. This shift towards healthcare consumerism will require providers to become more patient-centric.
Patients will comparison shop for procedures just as they would for any other product or service. They will research prices for tests, treatments, and medications. Review sites like Healthgrades and Vitals will become even more popular places for patients to read provider reviews and ratings.
Providers will need to offer pricing transparency and publish quality metrics to remain competitive. More doctors and hospitals will provide online cost estimates for common procedures. This will enable patients to shop around and find the best value.
Insurance companies will also face pressure to be more transparent about coverage and networks. They will provide online tools to allow members to estimate out-of-pocket costs. High-deductible plans will push patients to demand price transparency so they can manage their healthcare spending.
Digital technologies will disrupt traditional healthcare business models. Online scheduling, telehealth visits, and mobile apps will give patients on-demand access to providers. Retail clinics in drug stores and supermarkets will offer convenient, low-cost care options.
The rise of consumerism will force the healthcare industry to become more competitive, affordable, accessible, and patient-focused. Providers meeting savvy healthcare consumers’ demands will be best positioned for success in 2024.
Care Coordination and Integration
In 2024, health systems will increasingly take responsibility for coordinating care across the full continuum of health services, recognizing that fragmentation leads to duplication, errors, and higher costs.
Driven by value-based payment models, health systems will invest in care management programs, care navigators, and technology to support integrated care delivery.
To better coordinate care, interoperable electronic health records and health information exchanges will facilitate robust data sharing between providers. This will allow primary care providers to see specialists’ notes, hospital discharge summaries, lab results, and imaging scans. Patients will also gain transparency into their medical records through patient portals and tools to aggregate health data.
Multidisciplinary care teams will become more common, with primary care doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, care coordinators, and other providers collaborating to develop holistic care plans and ensure appropriate follow-up. High-risk patients with multiple chronic conditions will benefit from comprehensive care management programs that proactively manage medications, transitions between care settings, and lifestyle factors impacting health.
Integrated delivery models that combine hospitals, physician groups, and other services under one organization will facilitate coordinated care by aligning incentives and promoting standardized practices across settings. Seamless data sharing and collaborative workflows will become hallmarks of successful health systems that deliver high-value care in 2024.
The healthcare workforce is rapidly evolving to meet the changing demands of healthcare delivery systems and the transition to value-based care. There has been growth in new roles like community health workers, care coordinators, and patient navigators.
Community health workers act as liaisons between patients and providers. They help connect underserved populations to healthcare services, manage chronic conditions, coordinate care, and provide health education. Growth in these roles reflects a focus on improving population health outcomes and addressing social determinants of health.
Care coordinators and patient navigators help patients manage complex care needs and transition between care settings. They ensure care is streamlined and optimized across multiple providers. These roles reflect a shift towards care integration, coordination, and a patient-centered approach.
There has also been increasing use of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other mid-level practitioners to improve access and efficiency. Telehealth providers offer care remotely, increasing access for rural populations. Medical scribes and other support roles reduce administrative burdens on physicians.
Training programs are emerging to develop new healthcare roles and skills like analytics, care coordination, and quality improvement. Cultural competency and emotional intelligence training provide workforce skills to address diverse patient populations and experiences.
The healthcare workforce is adapting to new team-based, patient-centered, value-based care models. Emerging roles emphasize care coordination, community-based services, prevention, and addressing social determinants of health. Both now and in the future, providing high-quality, effective healthcare will require a flexible, well-trained workforce.
Personalized and Precision Medicine
Precision medicine refers to customizing healthcare based on an individual’s unique factors like genetics, environment, lifestyle, and preferences.
By 2024, precision medicine will likely be much more widespread as healthcare providers increasingly embrace this targeted approach to care.
Advances in genetics research and testing have paved the way for truly personalized treatments. Doctors can now analyze a patient’s DNA to help predict their risk for certain diseases, determine how they will respond to particular drugs, and select therapies tailored to that individual. Pharmacogenomic testing examines how genes affect someone’s reaction to medications, allowing providers to choose the optimal drug regimen with the fewest side effects.
Lifestyle and environmental information is also key for precision medicine. Factors like diet, exercise habits, stress levels, and toxin exposures help paint a comprehensive picture of a patient’s health. Providers can then use this data to develop preventive care plans customized to each person based on their unique needs and risks.
Patient preferences and values are increasingly considered as well. Precision medicine matters most to each individual when making healthcare decisions, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Incorporating preferences promotes patient autonomy and satisfaction.
As technology advances over the next few years, healthcare systems will likely leverage integrated data from genetics, lifestyle factors, and patient preferences to drive truly personalized and effective care. Precision medicine represents the future of healthcare.
Frequently Asked Questions
In 2024, we anticipate increased integration of telehealth services, personalized treatment plans leveraging AI, and a stronger focus on preventive care.
Technology has revolutionized healthcare delivery by enhancing remote patient monitoring, facilitating virtual consultations, and streamlining administrative processes for more efficient and patient-centric care.
While virtual consultations will continue to grow, in-person visits will remain essential for certain medical assessments, treatments, and procedures that require physical presence.
Healthcare providers employ advanced encryption protocols and secure platforms to safeguard patient data during telehealth consultations, adhering to stringent privacy regulations.
The healthcare delivery system in 2024 will look quite different from today. Several major trends and innovations will shape how care is accessed, coordinated, and delivered.
One major shift is the prevalence of value-based care models like accountable care organizations (ACOs). These agreements link provider payments to reductions in the overall cost of healthcare for a population as well as quality indicators. More care coordination and preventive care are encouraged by this.
Telehealth will also be far more common. Virtual visits and remote patient monitoring will improve access and convenience while reducing costs. However, concerns around telehealth, such as privacy and reimbursement parity, will need to be addressed.
Medical imaging, screening, diagnostics, and routine paperwork will all see an increase in the use of automation and artificial intelligence. Although this can lower costs and increase availability, doctors will still be essential for making decisions and forming bonds with patients.
There will be greater emphasis on social determinants of health, like food, housing, and transportation. Providers will screen for social needs and connect patients to community resources. Payment reforms may enable funding for socioeconomic services.
Healthcare will focus more on the consumer experience with price transparency, digital interfaces, increased choices, and customized services. However, consumer-directed models raise questions about access disparities.
New care coordination roles and value-based payment incentives will drive more integrated, team-based care across settings. This includes greater coordination between medical and behavioral health.
The workforce may include more virtual care providers, community health workers, and advanced practice clinicians than physicians. Retraining programs will help clinicians transition to new models and technologies.
Personalized medicine and precision health will gain traction with the growth of genetics, biomarkers, big data analytics, and tailored interventions. But questions of evidence, cost, and equity will remain.
In summary, the delivery system must rapidly adapt to leverage promising innovations in value-based care, virtual care, consumer experience, care integration, analytics, and personalized health. Success will depend on addressing access, costs, quality, and equity challenges through pragmatic reforms. Healthcare will remain a complex field requiring both high-tech tools and human compassion. Contact us today to learn more about these systems and how Apollo couriers can get the medical parcels you need to be delivered in a fast and safe manner.