The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated society since the beginning of 2020, redefining the direction of American healthcare. It has identified five key areas of focus that can improve access to, the cost of, and the emphasis on preventing illness, rather than just treating it in the United States.
The five priorities are interconnected and must be dealt with as a whole. Together, they offer a path that can lead to a much healthier America.
1. Concentrate on boosting health
According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six out of ten Americans have at least one chronic illness (CDC). Before the pandemic, chronic diseases killed more than 1.7 million people each year in the United States, accounting for seven out of ten fatalities. The extraordinary risk of chronic diseases has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even without chronic diseases, COVID-19 would have been fatal, but their presence made Americans more vulnerable. The primary goal of national health care must be disease prevention. Preventive measures are, in part, behavioral and can be taken by individuals. However, health care professionals must do more to encourage prevention. In turn, improved health has reduced costs by $648 per patient annually ($1,908 for patients 65 and over) compared to traditional clinics.
2. Address racial inequalities
To achieve health equity, it is urgent to address the severe racial disparities in healthcare. The social factors that influence health must be addressed to address these differences.
The Centers for Disease Control lists five important subject areas among which lack of access to quality healthcare is one among them.
3. Increase the availability of telehealth services
The most noticeable change in health-care delivery brought about by COVID-19 is the widespread acceptance of telehealth urgent care by both consumers and providers. According to federal government data, nearly half (43.5%) of Medicare primary care visits in April 2020 were handled by telehealth urgent care, up from less than 1% in February 2020 (0.1%).
Telehealth urgent care has significant implications. It can improve access to care and have a profound impact on the economics of isolated communities and rural hospitals. In addition to allowing rural hospitals to assess specialists like neonatologists, neurologists, and cardiologists, telehealth urgent care also allows patients to receive care without being transported to larger, farther-flung facilities. This option benefits rural communities, where patients from remote and rural areas can access telehealth urgent care.
Only 116 “Hospital at Home” programs were available nationwide in the spring of 2021, although acute and chronic clinical conditions should be treated at home with hospital-level care. According to preliminary national studies, hospital-level care provided at home is 19% less expensive than care received in a traditional hospital and has comparable or better results.
4. Develop integrated systems
Another significant finding from the pandemic is the development of integrated health care delivery systems.
The American Hospital Association estimates the pandemic could cost the country’s hospitals $54 billion in lost net income in 2021. Non-integrated systems often have to cut services, raise prices, or postpone adding needed community services to make up for the loss.
The integrated delivery system like virtual concierge medical services offers a subscription-based model where the patients need not experience any co-pay or insurance hassles. The objective of this plan is to deliver affordable excellent care to everyone.
5. Use value-based online healthcare
Although there is a widespread acceptance of value-based care, prevention and equity are not addressed by conventional healthcare. In a nutshell, health care systems that are integrated are not fully utilized to enhance the quality of life. Adopting online healthcare makes care more accessible. Preventing the onset of any disease with online healthcare can successfully lower healthcare costs by reducing the number of treatments and procedures required.
As mentioned already, all the above-listed five priorities are interconnected and must be dealt with as a whole. And that’s possible with LitonRx in association with LitonMD. It can successfully redefine the care delivery model while paving the road to a healthier America.