Two years ago, Deloitte published a report on the future of health with substantial predictions that challenge historic trends. As we enter the second year of a global pandemic, Deloitte is openly questioning if the future they predicted is already well under way.
Their updated executive summary recognizes how greatly COVID-19 has highlighted “some of the weaknesses in the health system, pushing capacity to the brink and testing the very definition of wellness.”
Too many payers and employers know this experience firsthand.
Deloitte’s projections point to far more progress than peril — and payers and employers stand to gain by getting in front of these developments. By distilling some of their key forecasts and offering our response, we hope payers and employers will feel better equipped to choose care plan models that keep pace with their dynamic business needs.
Deloitte’s key forecasts
“Health in 2040 will be a world apart from what we have now.”
It’s an eyebrow-raising encapsulation of healthcare trends over the next 20 years — bolstered by what Deloitte sees as a significant reduction in overall healthcare spending and a drastic pivot in the industry’s priorities from “from health care to health.” Here are five key takeaways:
#1: A $3.5 trillion well-being dividend
We see Deloitte’s forecast as not only achievable but likely, and we believe value-based advanced primary care (APC) models will be the driver of this systemic refocusing. Value-based APC drives down the overall cost of care by greatly reducing complicated network benefits and out-of-pocket costs, giving members the freedom to take a lead role in their own health goals and outcomes.
On the primary care side of value-based APC, providers and care teams are equipped with the time and resources necessary to build trusting relationships with their patients. It’s a model proven to greatly reduce overall costs while improving health outcomes and members’ experience.
#2: A tectonic shift in focus
Despite roughly 80 percent of health spending going to care and treatment in 2019, Deloitte projects 60% of healthcare spending will support health and well-being by 2040. This sea change is credited as the product of “well-being activities [that] empower consumers to monitor their health through technologies that can sense early signals of disease in asymptomatic people, and address drivers of health early.”
Deloitte’s conclusion dovetails with APC models built from a bio-psycho-social care approach, wherein patients are empowered and educated to make consistent healthier lifestyle choices over time. It’s a preventive approach where reduced overall spending and better health outcomes are more efficiently sustained.
#3: A new care model as a primary revenue driver
Deloitte sees major changes in the future towards a new kind of business model that will drive 85% of future healthcare revenue:
- “The end of the general hospital as we know it
- The slowdown of mass-produced biopharma
- A seismic shift in the way health care is financed”
Scientific and technological breakthroughs, patients armed with highly personalized data, and forward-thinking regulations will drive massive changes in care models. As technology advances to help detect (or prevent) disease sooner, patients will rely on preventive measures like risk profiles and wellness-related products tailored to their lifestyle and behaviors.
We appreciate Deloitte’s unfiltered forecast and agree that a shift towards new healthcare models will be “an unstoppable transformation,” driven by an emphasis on wellness and preventive services along with increased accessibility through same-day and next-day appointments for acute symptoms. We similarly anticipate reduced overall spending and improved health outcomes en masse as stakeholders increasingly adopt these care models.
#4: A change in relationships and behavior
Deloitte forecasts a future where patients harness personalized data to take active ownership of their health. It’s a projection that anticipates positive outcomes from support systems such as personalized health plans, data science, goal-setting initiatives, and behavioral economics.
We align with Deloitte’s projection, and we firmly believe success for any model (now and in the future) hinges on the number of patients who develop long-term, trusting relationships with their providers.
Primary care utilization is key to reducing overall spending. People who haven’t visited a doctor in a long time aren’t necessarily healthy — they simply haven’t generated a claim. It’s an ongoing liability for the fee-for-service status quo where complicated access and out-of-pocket costs drive patients to wait until their symptoms are far more acute (and often more costly).
#5: More equitable access to care
Care access is another area where Deloitte believes the future has already arrived, as “urgent care facilities, retail clinics, and a growing acceptance of virtual care are making it easier for patients to meet with care providers in person or via electronic device.” It’s a trend that’s removing traditional barriers to healthcare access — like geography and limited resources.
We also see virtual care services as an opportunity and a catalyst for reduced overall costs and more attentive, individualized care. The combination of virtual and in-person primary care reduces common patient and care team hurdles which have too often resulted in costly inefficiencies. Virtual care answers these challenges by empowering payers and employers to improve access by adding primary care to existing care plans.
Why APC is here to stay
Deloitte articulates an unstoppable transformation in healthcare that will only accelerate as we come to understand the myriad of ways the current transactional healthcare system is broken — and the market is already moving towards value-based models, whether commercial, government-funded Medicare and Medicaid, or individual plans.
We believe the future will be built on a primary-care centered model with clinically integrated health coaching that encourages healthier lifestyle and behavior choices. As payers and employers eagerly search for sustainable healthcare solutions that won’t break the bank, we see APC stepping in to new spaces to reduce overall costs, strengthen continuity of care, and improve health outcomes.
Learn more about how Advanced Primary Care can protect your bottom line and improve health outcomes — today and in the future.