The nature of healthcare is evolving

circle-of-lifeThe nature of healthcare is evolving; due to change in the healthcare paradigm, traditional healthcare facilities will now be punished by Medicare and Medicaid for poor patient performance.

The Affordable Care Act is a game changer; its goal is twofold: cut healthcare costs and increase overall patient outcomes.

In the past, if a patient was discharged, went home, and then got sick, they’d just get readmitted to the hospital – no harm, no foul.

Now, if a patient gets discharged, goes home, and gets sick, hospitals get punished, especially when they’re readmitted.

This new wrinkle in the healthcare system has spurred change in how hospitals and healthcare systems do business.

Now, they must – by all means necessary – keep patients home and healthy, otherwise their pocketbooks will get punished.

This new crinkle in the system will – overtime – spawn and expand old healthcare services whilst traditional services are cut, abandoned, and overhauled.

This change will – obviously – create winners and losers.  And, as I’m sure you guessed, services which turn a profit will win and services which turn a loss will lose.

We may not like it, but hospitals are in the business of healthcare, complete with income statements and balance sheets.

I don’t like to prognosticate, but in the future, I’ll bet critical care, home health, and surgery reap the rewards that Obamacare has sown, whilst inpatient rehabilitation, psych, and the ER will suffer.

Sure, the emergency room won’t disappear, but hospitals will devote, divert, and invest their monies in departments which churn a profit, not departments which make their income statements bleed red.

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