In the 2010s, the way Americans consume health care has evolved significantly.
While some of these system-wide changes clearly stem from the regulations
associated with the Affordable Care Act, others have resulted from technological
advances. Here are some of the new trends.
Increased Cost and Deductibles
Health care costs are increasing to the extent that one-third of Americans
report postponing medical treatment for themselves or for family members.
That’s a staggering and worrisome figure. In the face of these higher
prices, more consumers are opting for insurance plans with higher deductibles
in hopes that they won’t need medical treatment.
Opportunities for Receiving Medical Care at Home
Consumers can receive medical care in their home through two methods:
telemedicine and doctors’ house calls. Some insurers are now covering
telemedicine services, which involves accessing medical attention from
home 24/7 at a rate that is much lower than what a doctor’s office
visit would cost. Old-fashioned doctors’ house calls, the other
option, are also seeing a revival in certain parts of the country.
Wearable Medical Technology
Some companies are making wearable devices that aid in the prevention
and treatment of specific diseases. The devices can detect seizures in
patients with epilepsy as well as help fight diabetes and cardiovascular
disease. This industry has enormous potential;
Soreon Researchreports it will be worth $41 billion annually by 2020.
Increased Medical ID Theft
Technology improves health care, but it’s a double-edged sword.
It also creates and worsens problems like medical ID theft. This robbery
involves stealing health insurance information and Social Security numbers
to obtain medical treatment. Victims sometimes have to spend thousands
of dollars to rectify their records and restore their credit. To learn
more about this issue, see this article for details:
Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones from Hazards of Electronic Medical Records (EMR).
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