2015 marks a big hallmark in US medicine. It’s been a full year of affordable healthcare in action. We can’t believe we made it. It’s exciting to see the United States government recognizing a need for healthcare for all citizens – and this positive step towards a secure future for all Americans is just one strong step towards a healthy future.

On the timeline, 2015 may not seem as important as 2014 was, but honestly the more changes to come this year are truly geared towards the consumer. 2015 is about quality and cost – protecting the consumer and ensuring that value stays the main goal of nationwide practices. However, the healthcare climate is not the only area of interest.

Affordable Healthcare 2015: Year of the Patient

Paying Physicians Based on Value Not Volume. A new provision will tie physician payments to the quality of care they provide. Physicians will see their payments modified so that those who provide higher value care will receive higher payments than those who provide lower quality care. (Source: Hhs.gov)

What does this mean?

For physicians, this means that they will get better pay if they provide higher levels of care. This is a step towards physician quality control. No longer will be the standard for physicians to recommend a “second opinion”.

For consumers, this may actually result in lower premiums. It’s yet to be determined whether or not out-of-pocket expenses will increase. It’s guaranteed that those without insurance will see health care costs rise – and hospitals are also predicted to increase their fee (source: TheSimpleDollar.com). The advantages you get out of your benefits will require research – the type of medical consumer you are will still very much affect the amount you spend on health care outside of your premium.

Finally, for employers, 2015 brings on the healthcare mandate. All full-time workers at large firms must have access to health benefits.

Wearable Tech: Health of the Future

According to HRI Clinician Workforce Survey, over half of US physicians and consumers agree that mobile apps and devices are suitable to assist in monitoring vital signs. Mobile apps will become a major part of healthcare this year.

HIPAA and Data Security Risks on the Rise

Privacy is going to be a HUGE issue as wearable tech and mobile apps for physicians rise from trending to essential.

Genetics Play a Role in Health Recommendations

Genomic information is at about a 50% approval rate – meaning that highly tailored medications are on the way to production.

2015 looks to be a year of advancement and even science fiction! We’re glad to be here. Good luck and Happy New Year!

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