2022 Healthcare Predictions

December 22, 2021
Josie Livengood

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It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a healthcare predictions blog for the new year! 2021 was a crazy year for everyone and saw a lot of changes in the healthcare industry. We predict 2022 won’t be any different. We’ll continue to see big changes, but also, we’ll actually see the implications of many of the events that happened in 2021. So, let’s dive into our healthcare predictions for the coming year.

Healthcare consumerism.

We predict that healthcare consumerism will take off in 2022 thanks to the passing of multiple rules around price transparency. The Hospital Price Transparency rule that passed in 2021 has made it somewhat easier to access pricing info and helped healthcare consumerism take a big step. Very few hospitals are complying with the rule though and the ones that are haven’t made the prices easy to understand or read. But, there is data out there nonetheless, and more hospitals will comply in 2022 as the penalty for non-compliance is raised. This allows digital health companies (like us) to make that data usable for consumers. Plus, the Transparency in Coverage Rule is coming in 2022 and it will force insurers to share their negotiated rates. This will also help to catapult healthcare consumerism forward. The new year will see more demand from consumers to not only know the cost of healthcare but to be able to shop for it too. (If you want to learn more about the 2022 healthcare policy changes, check out the guide we recently published here.)

Further adoption of virtual primary care.

Since COVID began, everyone has said that digital health would become more permanent. And they were right! We foresee that virtual primary care, specifically, will be here to stay. Not only will more patients want to use it, but providers will also want more options for implementing telehealth into their practice. This means an uptick in companies that will claim to have the best digital platform for providers to use. We also foresee more conversations around the inaccessibility of virtual primary care for many populations in the U.S. and how to ensure these communities are still receiving primary care, virtual or not. There’s definitely a potential that with an increase in virtual primary care visits that in-person visits will be somewhat easier and faster to obtain. We also predict an increase in companies focused on the point of care being anywhere the patient is.

A continued reckoning for hospitals’ high healthcare costs.

It seems every other day there’s a new article exposing the scandals of hospitals that charge ridiculously high prices for care. 2022 will not see a slowdown in this coverage. Rather, it’ll be the opposite. Again, now that pricing data is more readily available thanks to various legislation that’s passed, it will be easier to unveil which hospitals are profiting from immoral billing practices and overinflated price tags. As many hospitals receive more negative press coverage, we’ll see expensive hospitals lose business for plannable healthcare events as people begin to choose their more affordable competitors. Patients and hospitals that are proactively sharing their prices and providing fair pricing will be the big winners here. 

Incentives for providers and alternative payment models.

Many of our podcast guests in 2021 talked about:

  • Misaligned incentives between providers, payers, and patients.
  • Alternative payment models for providers (AKA not using fee-for-service).

The conversation around these two topics will continue to spread in the healthcare world. We’ll also see a little more adoption of alternative payment models such as value-based care and direct primary care. However, the needle won’t move significantly on adoption in 2022. We predict it'll take several more years before fee-for-service becomes the uncommon payment model. Also, it’ll still be a while before providers, payers, and patients all get on the same page with incentives. There will be no slow down in the number of conversations around these topics though, and that’s a good thing. Awareness is the first step to change.

Wrapping it up.

The demand for healthcare consumerism will increase. Virtual primary care will continue to stay prevalent and other efforts to ensure everyone has access to primary care will be a top initiative. More revelations and scrutiny of high healthcare costs within hospitals. Increased conversations and some actual effort towards alternative payment models for providers. Continued conversations on how to align incentives between providers, payers, and patients.

What are your predictions for healthcare in 2022? We’d love to hear! Send them our way at Hello@PointHealth.com

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Download Your Guide to 2022's Healthcare Policy Changes

Discover the major changes happening that affect you, how to prepare, and even how to make the new rules work in your favor.

Download How to Leverage Ambulatory Surgical Centers for Lower Costs and Higher Satisfaction

Discover how TPAs, health cost sharing groups, and limited benefit medical plans can benefit from the use of ASCs.

Download the Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Learn the best strategies and tips for growing your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Lowering Member Costs

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download Healthcare Consumerism 101: A Playbook for Health Plans

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

Download Your Guide to the Transparency in Coverage Rule

Discover how the the new rule will affect TPAs and health plans and how you can start your journey to compliance.

Download Your Guide to Unique Benefit Offerings that Don't Break the Bank

Discover how to add value to your health offerings that delight clients and members but don’t cost a fortune.

Download the Complete Sedera Case Study

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

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