Every single day, thousands of elderly nursing home patients are subjected to disorienting and costly transfers to the Emergency Department for health challenges that could potentially be treated in place, if the resources were in place to do so.
Nearly one out of every five ambulance transfers to the ED come from nursing homes. These are often chronically ill, medically complex patients with acute medical needs. The chaos of the ambulance trip causes additional mental and physical distress. They arrive at the hospital alone and are forced to bear the burden of interacting with a new set of “clinical strangers” who are unfamiliar with their symptoms. They’re often put in beds in the hallway and left alone. Frail, vulnerable, elderly patients are simply ignored.
It doesn’t happen because clinicians don’t care or anyone wants these patients to be suffering the loneliness and isolation of the hallway ED, it happens because we have a system that’s broken. One area where politicians can and should be able to find common ground is value-based care arrangements, which have proven to be better for patient care and less costly for the healthcare system.
This past year was a transformative one for healthcare. From big tech’s entrance into the field to the rise of virtual care to Congress warming to reimbursing innovative care delivery models, the healthcare industry has started to see some significant shifts in the space. The importance placed on value-based care has also been a major driver for industry change for patients, providers and payers. The opportunity to improve patient outcomes while decreasing cost will drive the industry forward and help reshape legacy practices.
In a speech at an Alliance for Connected Care telehealth policy forum in November, CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) Administrator Seema Verma spoke about how “relentless innovation is a crucial driver in creating value across all industries.” With that sentiment in mind, here are five trends that will impact the health tech landscape in 2019: